How Victims Become Bonded To Their Scammers
People Often Stay In Abusive Relationships Because Of Something Called ‘Trauma Bonding’
Originally published by: Lindsay Dodgson – Aug. 17, 2017 – BusinessInsider.com
‘Trauma Bonding’ — Here Are The Signs It’S Happening To You
SCARS SCARS - Society of Citizens Against Relationship Scams Inc.
A government registered crime victims' assistance & crime prevention nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida, U.S.A. SCARS supports the victims of scams worldwide and through its partners in more than 60 countries around the world. Incorporated in 2015, its team has 30 years of continuous experience educating and supporting scam victims.
Visit www.AgainstScams.org to learn more about SCARS. EDITOR’S NOTE: THIS APPLIES TO SCAM VICTIMS JUST AS IT DOES TO LOCAL ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS.
You Don’t Realize
People Often Don’t Even Realize They Are In An Abusive Relationship.
It can be hard for others to understand why someone stays with an abusive partner.
The Phases Of Trauma Bonding:
- Idealization Demonstrating inaccurate rationalizations, idealizations, or justifications of the perpetrator’s behavior, particularly if the perpetrator is or was a caregiver. Other similar reactions mirror idealization; traumatic bonding is an emotional attachment that develops (in part to secure survival) between perpetrators who engage in interpersonal trauma and their victims, and Stockholm syndrome involves compassion and loyalty toward hostage-takers.
It’s often because of something called “trauma bonding,” where you become addicted to the hormonal rollercoaster an abuser sends you on.
Those who have never been in an abusive relationship struggle to understand how people remain in one for so long. If somebody was mistreating you, “why did you stick around?” they ask.
For survivors A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com, this can be a really tough question to answer. The lucky ones escape and stumble upon articles or books that give them the terms to be able to understand what happened to them, and thus describe their experience. Other times, though, this doesn’t happen, and people might not even be aware they were in a relationship that could be classed as “abusive.”
This is because we are conditioned to believe abuse is always physical. On TV and in films, we see characters who are obviously evil. They are violent to their partners, shout at them aggressively, or even murder them in a fit of rage Anger, also known as wrath or rage, is an intense emotional state involving a strong uncomfortable and non-cooperative response to a perceived provocation, trigger, hurt or threat. About one-third of scam victims become trapped in anger for extended periods of time following a scam.
A person experiencing anger will often experience physical effects, such as increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, and increased levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Some view anger as an emotion that triggers a part of the fight or flight response. Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically.
Anger can have many physical and mental consequences. While most of those who experience anger explain its arousal as a result of "what has happened to them", psychologists point out that an angry person can very well be mistaken because anger causes a loss in self-monitoring capacity and objective observability.. While this does happen, it’s not a true representation of the abuse many others experiences.
According to therapist Shannon Thomas, author of “Healing from Hidden Abuse,” psychological abuse is insidious, and it occurs over time like an IV drip of poison entering your veins.
It starts with an off-hand comment here or an insult there, but often victims brush these moments off. This is because abusive people are great at pretending to be everything you’re looking for in a partner, and they love to bomb you with affection. Victims tend to believe this is the abuser’s real self, and when the mask starts to slip more and more, they believe it’s “out of character” and it must be their own fault for making their partner angry.
People stay in these relationships partly because they are trying to win back the abuser’s affection. However, Thomas told Business Insider that victims also become biologically attached to their abusers through something called “trauma bonding.”
It’s Like An Addictive Drug
It’s a bit like becoming addicted to a drug. A psychologically abusive relationship is a rollercoaster, with punishment and then intermittent reinforcement of kindness when you “behave.” This means the body is going through its own turmoil, with high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, paired with dopamine when given affection as a reward.
“You have this back and forth, and the body becomes addicted,” Thomas said. “When we’re looking for something that we want, that we once had, which is a connection with somebody, and they are playing cat and mouse where they are pulling it back and forth, then the body really does become dependent on having that approval.“
This hormonal rollercoaster really takes its toll on someone’s body. Victims might find they break out in acne, even though they’ve always had good skin. They might have chest pains. Thomas has said that in her practice she has even seen her clients develop autoimmune disorders.
“Their bodies start to shut down, and they start really struggling with chronic pain, migraines, and some arthritic type pains and conditions, and they just can’t fight infections as well,” she said. “The body really can only take so much stress.“
Victims stay in these relationships despite the stress on their bodies, because often it isn’t clear to them what the problems really are. Through gaslighting, control, and intermittent love, the abuser has their partner backed into a corner of self-blame Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act is held entirely or partially at fault for the harm that befell them. SCARS seeks to mitigate the prejudice against victims and the perception that victims are in any way responsible for the actions of offenders or scammers. There is historical and current prejudice against the victims of domestic violence and sex crimes, such as the greater tendency to blame victims of rape than victims of robbery. Scam victims are often blamed by family & friends for the crime. Scam victims also engage in self-blame even though they are not to blame. and desperation of trying to win back the affection of the person they love.
Unfortunately, for many people, when they try to leave these relationships they are so bonded to their abuser that they return. Others don’t try to leave at all and are only freed from the clutches of the abuse when they are discarded.
An abusive relationship with a narcissist or psychopath tends to follow the same pattern: idealization, devaluation, and discarding. At some point, the victim will be so broken, the abuser will no longer get any benefit from using them. They may have totally bankrupted them, or destroyed their confidence, or worse, and they move on to their next target.
However, once they are gone, the victim — or survivor A Scam Survivor is a victim who has been able to fully accept the reality of their situation. That they were the victim of a crime and are not to blame. They are working on their emotional recovery and reduction of any trauma either on their own, through a qualified support organization, or through counseling or therapy. And has done their duty and reported the crime to their local police, national police, and on Anyscam.com as Thomas calls them at this point — can finally start coming round to the idea they were abused. They can grieve, and finally, see the damage that was being done, and realize it wasn’t their fault.
That’s when the healing can really begin, Thomas says, and the survivor can realize that they were targeted not because they were weak, but because they had so much to give.
These Are The Signs You Might Be In A Trauma Bond With Someone, According To Psych Central:
- A constant pattern of nonperformance — your partner promises you things but keeps behaving to the contrary.
- Others are disturbed by something that is said or done to you in your relationship, but you brush it off.
- You feel stuck in the relationship because you see no way out.
- You keep having the same fights with your partner that go round in circles with no real winner.
- You’re punished or given the silent treatment by your partner when you say or do something “wrong.”
- You feel unable to detach from your relationship even though you don’t truly trust or even like the person you’re in it with.
- When you try and leave, you are plagued by such longing to get back with your partner you feel it might destroy you.