The Ties That Bind

trauma-bond

The ties that bind us to one another can be powerful. But can they be destructive? These ties can be difficult to detect essentially due to the fact that we are so close to those we are tied to. In a more positive relationship those ties are wonderful and strong. You find a soul mate, a confidant, a true friend for life. However, when those ties are negative you find that you have captured someone whose attention you will always seek, even when we know the audience they convey is one of destruction and chaos.

We see this in domestic violence relationships consistently. The victims (both male and female) feel powerless against their partners. However the emotional connectedness remains. The love remains. The need to be there, remains. This type of systematic dysfunction brings about a chain of events that becomes cyclical. This is a common tune in these relationships and it can take a lot of strength, courage and determination to change the station.

Dysfunction in families is also a common issue. Growing up in dysfunction can also lead to further dysfunction as an adult. Imagine that! The dysfunction can occur in various ways. Some individuals move forward with a more positive outward appearance than inward, while others carry their dysfunction on their sleeve. Regardless, the family dynamic is forever trauma bonded. There may be an unnatural need to be “present” with family members despite the inward discomfort that comes with this. There may be a need to consistently protect or save members of the family. Even when this clearly becomes enabling. The biggest issue comes with finding the strength to walk away. The guilt,  loneliness, hypocrisy and disappointment that comes with walking away from family lingers. But is it necessary?

Truth be told, I would imagine it depends on the issues. Yours and theirs. It also depends on how strong you are. If something happens long enough and becomes physically and emotionally damaging, you have to consider the relationship. What does it look like now? Is there a give and take or is the scale tipped too far to one side? Distance can help clear the blurriness of being too close and one can finally “see” their family member for who they are and the relationship for what it is. At this point one has to ask themselves (even about family), when enough is enough. And make the choice- to break free.

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