What is trauma-bonding?

“A trauma bond is a connection between an abusive person and the individual they abuse. It typically occurs when the abused person begins to develop sympathy or affection for the abuser.” (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/trauma-bonding#definition)

Sound familiar?


CW: implications of sexual assault, mentions of sh, and attempts, no descriptions of any


For me it is. I experienced my first major traumatic event when I was 8, when I was 10, I confessed what happened in an attempt to cover up my friend telling my family I was suicidal. It worked. I was abused for years. Yet, still, I only spoke about the first incident, to protect him. I felt so fucking guilty the whole time. Sometimes I still feel guilty.


My father’s neglectful. He knows I know. He’s heard me crying about it, he’s heard me vent to other people on the phone. He doesn’t care.  I’ve made excuses for him my whole life. The only moment I realized I was wrong was when I was speaking to my sibling and rationalizing it as ‘he came from a bad home, he’s lashing out and he looked me dead in the eye and said it wasn’t an excuse. Realizing he was hurting other people was enough to get me to reconsider.


Speaking of my brother, he’s been extremely harmful to me too. He’s been violent physically, made serious threats, along with doing a few things to me I said no too. Once in my sleep. With that said, he’s my best friend. He’s my brother for God’s sake. I love my brother, how could I not?


It’s not like he’s the only family member who’s done something similar. My little cousin comes from an unsafe home so when she was younger, I raised her. A few months ago she violated me. I didn’t even say a word when she did. I just stood there silently and pretended like she wasn’t doing what I knew she was. I haven’t cut her out, I won’t cut her out. She’s my little cousin, we’ve been through too much together. Besides, I’ve had worse, she’s just a kid.


My best friend, Jesus Christ this one is the hardest. For the past year, he’s been extremely suicidal. To the point of sh-ing and attempting multiple times in front of me. We would be on-call all day and if I left for a minute even, he would attempt. Unrelated to that, he’s so fucking selfish. He doesn’t consider anyone else but himself and his therapist tell him that all the time and he keeps swearing to me he’s trying to get better but it’s been like 5 months and not only has he not improved at all. he’s not even trying. He thinks I don’t know he quit trying to be sober. I know. He only talks about himself, all the time. And he gets so angry at me for having other friends. A few months ago I told him I was into this boy in my school and he responded by getting mad at me and proceeded to post on his priv twt that he just realized he has a crush on me. You’ll never guess what happened tomorrow, he realized he never did. He was just jealous of the fucking attention. He’s admitted to faking attempts multiple times. And I could rant about 30 more things he does that pisses me off. But, despite his fucking mess, I really do love my best friend. We’ve gone through so much. We have fighting periods, where we fight about nothing, but, for each of those, there’s a happy period. Those are scarce now. He got out of his “you’re always right” phase a while ago. I keep saying I’ll distance myself but I never can make myself.


What the hell is wrong with me?


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