I’ve always been a little unclear about the concept of the trauma bond, although I wrote a chapter about it. And today I just remembered a friend who told his therapist he hated him, whereupon his therapist replied, “Thank goodness, I was afraid you didn’t care.”
From FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders (and Others) by moi:
If you, the reader, are a survivor, I invite you to reflect as you read this book, whether or not you are journaling. If you were abused, take a moment to introspect. How do you feel toward your perpetrator? Angry? Protective? Sorry for him? Hate? Affection? Regret that you told or didn’t tell? How frequently does he cross your mind, and what do you experience at those times? Have your feelings changed over time? How? Have you moved beyond anger? Or did you short-circuit your anger into a “flight into health?” Did you feel compelled to forgive him? Why? Are you in any kind of continuing relationship with him or did you escape the tendrils? I was surprised to learn that strong continuing feelings between victim and perpetrator are an acknowledged and normal response to incest. The feelings resonating within the bond are stirred together: love, pity, disgust, shame, fear, empathy, guilt. (p. 90).