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The Trauma Bond: How Psychopaths Use Fear — 7 Comments

  1. Thank you, this is enlightening. I always thought the trauma bond started 10 months after I met him, when he threw a tantrum at me and I couldn’t walk away. but from what you describe, it sounds like he figured out a subtle way to start that bond from the very beginning, and I can’t remember how he did it but it must have been in conversation. then the tantrum was just a test of the bond to make sure it was securely in place.

    I had a very similar experience while I was willfully blind with a different book: “Why Does He DO That?” Our therapist had recommended it to me, clearly in retrospect trying to tell me something without telling me, probably because she was afraid of him. I had barely started reading it, he saw it and threw a fit and insisted I not read it. that should have been a huge clue. I hid it in my closet and never read it until after he moved out. 6 months after he moved out, reality came crystal clear to me and I was terrified. If I had seen it when he was still there, I would have been paralyzed with fear.

  2. Oh yes, I love that book. Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Pathetic –whoops, I mean — Controlling Men

    I had to hide that book too, when I was with another abuser a few years ago. I kept it in my car and had to go on “trips to the grocery store”, just to have time to read it. It was very enlightening especially about their sense of entitlement.

    You might want to go over your memories of how you met and see if there were any surprise elements. Most importantly, go over your emotions at the time, for what they were trying to tell you.

    For the longest time, I remembered my encounter with my ex as being romantic. He brought me a flower, after all. I remembered being afraid but I didn’t blame him, because he didn’t DO anything to make me fear him. He didn’t have to, his predatory presence was enough.

  3. well that could have been it. my ex was 6’6″ and a huge guy. I’m only 5’3″. I have been over and over the initial interactions in my head, and there wasn’t anything I recognized as even remotely threatening for at least 5 months. but everyone else seemed boring compared to him. so from what you described, I think he must have already trauma bonded me somehow. perhaps in the same way you could say Bella was trauma bonded to Edward in the beginning, from Twilight. He didn’t do anything to threaten HER, directly, except exist.

    but the one strange thing is that the moment I first saw his face, I recognized him. I thought I must have seen him in a different place, but then found out he had just moved to my state a few weeks before, so that was impossible. so I do suspect there was something deeper at work in why he was in my life, on a more spooky level.

  4. That is interesting because the first time I saw my spath was not the first time he saw me. He had been stalking me for weeks. I know this because my car was disabled and nobody could fix it. I had several mechanics out there, good mechanics, to no avail. But spath shows up and fixes it in less than 5 minutes. I wasn’t there when he fixed it, I gave him the keys and he brought the car to my office.

    Knowing that sabotaging machines is part of his M.O. I figured out that he had stalked me, seen where I parked it and set it up. Part of the trauma bond is to create chaos and then be the one with the solution.

    I’m pretty sure that no psychopath approaches their victims straight on. Like any good hunter, they wait and watche the prey to learn their habits. Then they have the knowledge they need to manipulate and coerce.

    It’s possible that your spath was watching you for a while before he approached you and you recognized him because you’d seen him before but hadn’t paid attention.

  5. I don’t know how that could be, given that we lived an hour away from each other, and there was no other way for him to have met me other than the social group in which we met. truly I think he stalked me through hundreds of lifetimes. this is the first life in which I escaped him. it’s truly spooky because the first part of my life was dominated by my mother’s evil. I divorced her literally weeks before I hooked up with him, just 2 months after I met him. it was like they passed me off from one to the other, as if some evil force was guiding them. (they did not meet until 7 years later and instantly hated each other.) I had no idea that I was going from the frying pan into the fire. These people are truly malicious and diabolical. with some their behavior is randomly evil, but with others it is entirely calculating, intentional, and planned out over the course of years. kind of like plotting to become president and then undoing everything your predecessor created, and fashioning a new Axis of evil.

  6. so, you completely called it and Trump played it out just like you said. the Danger-Safe trick. he put all those children in peril, and then he was their savior to stop the separations. what does this do psychologically to our country?

  7. That’s a good question.
    I would think that the people who know what he is, are immune to the trauma bond, but only if they are aware of how it works and the danger/safe component of the bond.

    If someone is completely blind to the fact that he has a dangerous personality disorder, then they wouldn’t know what hit them. They will believe whatever he wants them to believe.

    Then there are those who are just like him. They think this is great and they want to see more of it. Those people are the most blind of all. They believe that if it happens to someone else, it won’t happen to them. They are so wrong. The most important thing to understand about psychopaths is that they are betrayers. They betray everyone. They love the look of shock and awe on your face when you realize you’ve been played. That’s what they live for. THAT is winning for them.

    Those people who love and trust him are the ones he is most likely to betray because they’ve climbed up the pedestal and he can’t resist toppling them. Just look at all the EX-employees he’s had. They were all flying high before they drew the short stick for who was going to be the sacrificial victim.

    In the end, no one is safe. The moment you think you can’t be fooled again, is when he’ll do a 180 degree turn. This is precisely because fooling people is what gives him the greatest rush. It’s when the victim receives the unexpected that the look on their face is the most priceless to him.

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