I’ve been thinking about several things (as always), over the last few months. The most prevalent of those has been, “validation” and “trauma bonding”. I could go into what causes the trauma bonding, but what I really want to touch on, is the other side of it. What else keeps us stuck in abusive relationships? The trauma bond is a huge factor in that, but before the bond takes hold, I believe a fear of rejection is the initial culprit.
A fear of rejection, I believe, is the cornerstone to trauma-bonding. in abusive relationships, whether that be in a family – between child and parent, or a pseudo-romantic relationship, is something we are conditioned to, as children. Emotional abuse, or being repetitively unaccepted by our peers, can create a fear of rejection. Sometimes, it’s so deep-rooted, it’s hard to combat later in life. When we are repetitively told that we aren’t “good” enough, in whatever way our families or peers choose, we become hurt. We feel that rejection, deep down. It translates in our psyches and hearts as, “I’m so stupid…”, “I’m unlovable…”, “I’m always unwanted…”, “…unappreciated…”, ugly, stupid, bad, not valid, “I don’t belong…”, etc… The list goes on. After time, we become a victim of self-rejection. We are always waiting, and preparing ourselves for what we are used to. It’s hard to accept that someone might actually care about us. So hard in fact, that we create scenarios which would produce the same effect. We worry. We second-guess another person’s intentions, or expect them to change from “good” to “bad”. It’s what we are used to. It’s what we expect. Sometimes we respond incorrectly to something another says or does, because we are so sure we will be rejected or treated poorly. But, that’s another story which I’ll touch on, later.
Those of us who are conditioned into a fear of rejection, HATE rejection! It’s horribly hurtful, from any source. When we are in love with someone who is continuously rejecting us, it’s unacceptable to us. We cannot accept what is happening because it’s directly opposed to what we are craving… ACCEPTANCE… When we are the child of a parent who is rejecting us, or who is abusing us emotionally, it creates the same feelings and responses as those who are being rejected within a relationship. It creates in us, every single time, the feeling that the world is falling out from under our feet. We panic, trying to hang onto whatever sliver of hope that “maybe, this time, they will finally love and accept me…”. It’s that hope that keeps us hanging on. We need to be accepted by those who are supposed to love us. When we are forced to go without that feeling of closeness throughout life, we crave it MORE, as adults. It’s almost an addiction. It’s a base-human need, in order to fully thrive in life. Our psyches know we need it. Our hearts know, as well.
I want to post this as it stands, but will continue in another post, later. There is so much to this, that I believe we all need to consider. Feel free to add your thoughts as we go along.