Relationships are one of the cornerstones of our society. From friendships, to partnerships, we continue to connect, share experiences, and learn together as individuals. Humans are social creatures, so relationships with other humans are very par for the course. We find things we like in other people and it attracts us to them and makes us want to learn more about them. So we get to know them and we build a bond with them over time. We build a bond from similar experiences and an interest in the other person you just feel. There is no abuse. No misconstrued passion disguising hurtful intent. You should not experience trauma.

“The difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism is the presence of a personal attack and impossible standards. These so-called ‘critics’ often don’t want to help you improve, they just want to nitpick, pull you down and scapegoat you in any way they can. Abusive narcissists and sociopaths employ a logical fallacy known as ‘moving the goalposts’ in order to ensure that they have every reason to be perpetually dissatisfied with you. This is when, even after you’ve provided all the evidence in the world to validate your argument or taken an action to meet their request, they set up another expectation of you or demand more proof.”— Shahida Arabi

Relationships are the one of the cornerstones of our society. “I’ve just met my soulmate! We share literally all the same interests and the way we met was magical, almost electric!” “I can’t leave him, he’s my everything. He was just mad from work. Barely a scratch!” “He pays all the bills, I can’t afford to leave him. Makeup does wonders, no one will notice!” “I can’t leave, he needs me, he has no one else” A relationship should not be a prison sentence. You do not exist to give someone else a reason to. You should not be obligated to bolster anyone while you serve as collateral. You should not feel trapped in your relationship, rather it should be a source of happiness in your life. You should be free to challenge yourself and pursue what you want in life with a supportive, caring partner. Bonding with someone while dealing with the trauma that they cause you can bring up some very dangerous codependent habits that halt our growth and keep you entitled to the abuser. The bond is powerful despite the abuse and can go on for far longer than we hope to believe.

No one deserves to be abused. Don’t ever let someone believe that they have some power over what you do or how you think. We are all deserving of being treated like we matter in this world, and a trauma bond will have you believe that you deserve no less than imprisonment. The signs of a person trauma bonded can hard to see, as a lot of the abuse can be mental or emotional. Nevertheless, the effects of the abuse can travel far, seeping into the lives of the person who is being abused. Children can be affected too, seeing their parent unfortunately show the wrong version of how to be loved by someone. A person being abused may not even want to admit to the abuse, shaking it off like the examples in the previous paragraph. Without admittance, it because even more difficult to escape the toxic and maybe even life threatening situation.

No one should ever dictate how your life will go and what your place in the world is. No one should ever have the power to make you feel less than you are. The people who gain power from treating people like this need no more power from you. You don’t need to supply their fragile egos with more essence that you should be putting towards yourself and your growth. Someone wants to hear your story and help you become strong enough to not be held down by people not fit for you and your journey. People in the support community, your friends and family, etc. You don’t need to stay in that situation and if you know someone that is in such a situation, please let them know they are not alone. We all deserve a life without the weight of wrongful expectation. We deserve to live without being hit. We deserve to live without being badmouthed by those saying they love us.