Trauma Bond

When faced with long-term, repeated abuse, our brains are chemically wired to focus on getting to the “other side,” to relieve the pain. In Narcissistic Abuse, the brain latches on to the positive experience (Idealization & Love-Bombing) rather than the negative impact of the Devalue and Devastation. During the body’s threat response (fight, flight, freeze, fawn), the part of the brain responsible for rational thinking shuts down. Ironically, in the nervous system of the Narcissist’s target, their abuser is “mapped” as a source of safety and “love.” Trauma-bonding has a hormonal attachment component, creating a chemical dependence in the target. The imprint of the love-bombing is so embedded in the nervous system and brain of the target that they are extremely vulnerable to the repeating cycle, always clinging to the hope that the narcissist will go back to being loving and attentive once and for all. This type of conditioning is exploited by narcissists, giving rise to the description of “abuse by mind control and chemical dependence.”