The following signs are indicators of trauma bonding in the relationship or betrayal trauma after the relationship:
It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us.
Most people have had at least one bad relationship. Often these toxic relationships end badly, with one person storming off and never being heard from or seen again by the other. In fact, in many of these types of difficult relationships, neither person wants to see the other.
It is common to hear addicts talk about themselves as if they were different than other people. They have often gone through so much and felt dehumanized so many times that seeing things work for other people is like watching a foreign film, they can’t understand the message and they don’t get the plot.
In my book “The Law of Sobriety”, I discuss how important it is for addicts to see themselves as any other person. Learning how to tap into the Law of Attraction and using the energy provided to us by the Universe can be used for healing addictions and developing a positive message to send forth to the world around us.
The terms love avoidant and narcissist are often used interchangeably, but these two types of individuals are not always the same. They do have similarities, but there are also differences that have an impact on the relationship. As a general statement, all narcissists are love avoidant, but people can be love avoidant and not be narcissists.
One of the common thoughts people have about the Law of Attraction in recovery is that it is a passive type of process. They would like to believe that it will involve just reading a few books or blogs and thinking good thoughts to get their life back on track and to avoid addictive behaviors in the future.
As I have outlined and stressed in my book, “The Law of Sobriety,” this couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes emotional energy, deep and honest examination of our values as well as the self-determination to make the best decisions for yourself that are needed moving forward. I dedicate a whole chapter in the book to “Living a Life of Right Action” which brings the focus and the responsibility of our sobriety right back to ourselves.
Think as You Want It to Be
One of the key characteristics of narcissism is a sense of grandiosity or a sense of being superior to others. In addition to just thinking they are better than everyone, including their partners, the narcissist constructs a fantasy world where they are always on center stage, regardless of what is happening around them.
These anxious attachment people gravitate to love avoidant people. The love avoidant person is often very similar to the distant, uncarHow To Spot The Love Avoidant Personing, neglectful, or even absent parent of the anxious attachment style partner. It is, however, a familiar style, and love avoidant people often mask their true behaviors in the early parts of a romantic relationship. Keep in mind, the love avoidant style still needs human contact and relationships. Still, they are uncomfortable when confronted with this. In other words, they want to be close but dislike the thought of being close or dependent on another. To reinforce this, they distance themselves both emotionally and physically.
A love avoidant individual may be charming, happy, and spend time with you, even initiating this time spent together. Unavailable partners know they must demonstrate some level of intimacy at the beginning of the relationship. At the same time, the needs of the anxious and avoidant attachment types are opposites, and there is little chance of these types of relationships being healthy. Instead, avoidant and anxious attachment style partners create a toxic relationship with a high risk of emotional damage.
The holidays are a special time of year for most people. They are a time of friendship, of giving, of sharing, and of being around the people you love and those who love you. Unfortunately, what makes the holidays so special for most people makes them intolerable for a narcissist.
The narcissist must be the center of attention. In the holiday season, there are a lot of things to attend to, and trying to become better than everyone else at the family gathering, the concert, the staff party, or any other event can be impossible. Rather than trying to accept this, the narcissist moves to devalue and destroy the happiness of those they are around, showing their complete inability to express empathy and to simply enjoy the fact those around them are having fun.
New terms are becoming popular for many of the bad, destructive, and even toxic relationship behaviors that help people label what they are experiencing. Over the last few years, people have become familiar with gaslighting and ghosting. To add to that, the term breadcrumbing has become mainstream, adding to the ability to easily describe the difficulties you are experiencing in your dating relationships.
What is Breadcrumbing?
Breadcrumbing is the act of dropping little bits of attention through social media platforms or technology to keep the other person interested in the potential of the relationship. Accepting breadcrumbs means that you are settling for these small and virtual signals of the potential for the relationship.
Most people that engage in breadcrumbing are those who have a significant fear of being on their own or alone. To hedge their bets of not having someone to be in a relationship with, they focus on keeping multiple potential partners available. In some ways, they are also testing the waters with numbers of potential dates or relationships without committing to any one person. It is highly manipulative, even if the person doing it may not think they are doing anything harmful.
We want love, but we are afraid of it. We seek out a relationship and then sabotage it the first chance we get. We want space and when we get it we are lonely. We can’t live without a relationship and we can’t live with it. What is going on here? It is simple. We are ambivalent.
Ambivalence is the number one problem in relationships today. We are no longer bound by a social order that dictates we marry and have children. We are no longer bound by a division of labor where the man has his duties [bread winner] and we have ours [domestic bliss]. We have choices and now we are confused.
I sometimes think that this is the lost generation and that in many respects my generation had it easy. I was told to stroke a man’s ego. I was told to let him make all the decisions. I was told that I should have children. Unfortunately, I was not meant to be a housewife and mother. I was born to write which is what I am doing now. So everyone around me suffered, especially my children, as I tried to find myself. I have thus concluded that even if this generation is confused and unhappy, so was mine.
I recently wrote an article about knowing yourself and it took me a long time to discover my true identify. So my heart goes out to young people today who have so many choices they don’t know what to choose. The media tells they can have it all and they believe this. So they run themselves ragged trying to take all that life has to offer. Then they reach middle age and are unhappy with life and the choices they made. They dream about starting over again and they can’t. They take control the situation, which has always served them in the past, and try to fix everything right now.
It is common to have a disagreement with a partner in a relationship. In many cases, the source of the conflict or the disagreement is a difference in perception or a different memory or recollection of an event or conversation.
This is understandable as we see all experiences through the lens of past experiences. This means that two people can see, hear, or have the same event occur but walk away with a very different memory. Both people are absolutely convinced their experience is authentic, and for them, it really is authentic and accurate.
Gaslighting is a different situation. It involves the intentional manipulation of the other person to gain or maintain control of the situation. It is the creation of a false narrative to attempt to make one person look good, and the other person look bad. It is a technique used by narcissists to keep the other person uncertain, confused, and questioning their own perception and experiences. This is a form of emotional abuse, and it is both effective as well as highly destructive.
Understanding the difference between a healthy disagreement and gaslighting is not always easy, but it is possible. Often, working with a therapist or counselor is the first step in detecting an emotionally abusive or toxic relationship.
Narcissists are chameleons with the ability to appear to be just what you want and need, at least for the initial whirlwind part of the relationship. However, once they have established the relationship, the dynamics change rapidly, with the narcissist utilizing a variety of tactics and manipulations to keep you close. The relationship stops being about creating a partnership and becomes a focus on keeping them happy and their needs fulfilled.
The tactics that narcissists use in this process are easily recognized by those outside the relationship. They may also be evident to the partner, but the myths around narcissism can make it extremely difficult to leave.
Most of us tend to pick partners who reflect the vision we have of ourselves and our world. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Compatibility and a sense of ease in a relationship come from having similar preferences, ideas, and values about things like money, religion, monogamy, parenting, and even what makes for good sex. The Legacy Project at Cornell University even did a study on this. They interviewed hundreds of people who had been married 40 or 50 years, and even longer. Most agreed that shared values are at the core of a healthy, long-lasting marriage.
But we don’t pick the people we’re with based on values alone.
We also choose people who have similar ideas about what relationships look like and how they should play out. This sounds good but it can also backfire.
A toxic relationship is an unhealthy relationship. These relationships typically include feelings of being unloved, unwanted, misunderstood, unsupported, belittled, or even attacked. While most people consider a toxic relationship emotional and psychological abuse, there can also be issues with physical abuse and domestic violence.
It is possible to find yourself in a toxic relationship and not really understanding how things got to that point. Often the toxic person is very good at hiding their abusive behavior at the beginning of the relationship. If the person is a narcissist, it can be difficult to understand the constant swings from overwhelming and grandiose acts of passion and love to absolute disdain and anger. The result is that you are constantly kept guessing what will happen next and doing everything you can to avoid the hostility and toxicity.
Signs of a Toxic Relationship
A few of the signs you are in a toxic relationship include:
Sudden, unexpected, horrific or repeated types of negative incidents in life can all lead to the development of trauma.
Many people think of trauma as something that causes immediate changes in a person’s level of comfort, ability to feel safe, and constant feelings of fear or anxiety in specific situations or locations.
All of these can be true, but trauma and its effects are not all that easy to pinpoint. For some people, the effects of trauma may not occur for weeks after the event, and they may build gradually over time if the trauma is the chronic type of repeated stress such as living in a chaotic or unsafe environment or dealing with bullying or abuse.
Besides the obvious reactions to fear, stress and atypical negative events in life, it is also essential to be aware of three other lesser-known symptoms of trauma.
There are many myths and misunderstandings around being in relationships with narcissists. One of the most common myths is that somehow people should be able to recognize a narcissist by simply checking off a few boxes on a handy dating checklist.
In reality, the behavior of a narcissist during the initial stages of a dating relationship is a carefully crafted façade. He or she does not use abusive language or ghost you on the first, second, or even the twentieth date. They do not try to manipulate in overt ways, but they do use subtle and often seemingly innocent behaviors to test the waters to determine the flexibility or the presence of boundaries.
Unfortunately, potential dating partners who have a history of emotional or physical abuse, abandonment, or dysfunctional families often lack boundaries. They fall into the trap of allowing the narcissist to begin to get his way, even over small things, which eventually lead to highly toxic behaviors that will become more significant as the relationship unfolds.
To help understand the trap the narcissist sets during the initial dating phase, let’s take a closer look at the strategies the narcissist employs. Based on your response, you may see more than one strategy in play, or the strategies may change over time.
Being addicted to love is not the same as being a sex addict, a drug addict or an alcoholic. Love addicts are drawn to people that initially cause them to feel part of a whole rather than as an isolated individual.
For a love addict being single and alone is a crisis. These are people that rely on others for their sense of identity, where the relationship becomes the focus of their lives. Needless to say, love addicts smother the partner, which only causes the partner to pull away while the love addict clings on and compounds the problem.
The other type of partner that is drawn to a love addict is a person who is completely self-centered. They may have narcissistic tendencies or have another type of personality disorder. These are often the “bad boys” of the world, seeming to do nothing but take in a relationship. Finding a partner that wants nothing to do but to give creates the perfect destructive relationship for both.
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