Twin Flame or Trauma Bond?
Increasingly I feel that the answer to the above question is “both.” What is concerning me is that there seem to be more and more people who are lost in a twin flame fantasy that is predominantly a trauma bond, which is resulting in lots of suffering.
Trauma bonding is a psychological response to abuse. It occurs when the abused person forms an unhealthy bond with the person who abuses them. The person experiencing abuse may be dependent on the abusive person. Feelings of attachment and dependence can contribute to a trauma bond.
It is helpful to have some understanding of developmental attachment theory and recognise that trauma bonds are the result of an unhealthy early attachment. Humans form attachments as a means of survival. Babies become attached to the parents or caregivers whom they depend on, and adults form attachments to others who provide comfort or support. When someone’s main source of support is also their abuser, a trauma bond can develop.
An abused person may turn to the abusive person for comfort when they are hurt, even if the other person was the one who caused it. So a person may develop a trauma bond because they rely on the abusive person to fulfill emotional needs. For example, a child relies on their parent or caregiver for love and support. If that caregiver is abusive, the child may come to associate love with abuse. The child may blame themselves for the abuse as a way of making sense of what is happening to them.
Trauma bonding is certainly something that I have experienced and is woven into what can be referred to as my twin flame experience (I have shared this in my latest book Bring Him Home—A Twin Flame Love Story). Because I experienced abuse and emotional unavailability from adults in my life, I would instinctively gravitate toward relationships with women who were unavailable and often abusive in their inability to communicate.
These women were vibrating energetically at a similar frequency to my abuser, and so I was drawn to them as, on some level, I associated this feminine energy with care because this was what I mistakenly thought was “love.” And this is what many people do. They form an unhealthy attachment to abusers who are also severely wounded and have attachment trauma themselves.
The pain of the suffering becomes associated with the belief that this person is their “twin flame” (the other half of their soul), and they believe that this is the only person who can complete them. As a result, they tolerate all sorts of abuse and unhealthy behaviour. The reality is that, often, they are just playing out their relationship with their parental carer/abuser and the trauma bond.
Because most of our parents also carry attachment trauma, which has been passed down generationally, we absorb these distorted masculine (from the father) and feminine (from the mother) templates. The ego prefers what is familiar to what is unfamiliar and so, in my case, the wounded aspect of my inner feminine would energetically recognise and be attracted to the familiar energy of an unavailable woman who carried that similar vibration.
As I said previously, I believe that there is something to the twin flame phenomenon. Unfortunately, it is commonly misunderstood and has largely just become a false new age overlay for the modern romantic myth that peace and happiness are achieved externally and that the quest for love is focused around finding another person to complete us, rather than self-love.
My understanding is that the potential of a trauma bond or twin flame relationship is that, with awareness and commitment, it can hold the keys to bringing us to completion and sacred union of masculine and feminine within ourselves.
Our abuser/twin flame will evoke feelings and memories of unexpressed trauma from our childhoods so that we can feel that which was unexpressed within our bodies, and we can make conscious choices to respond differently from a place of maturity and responsibility. Instead of projecting blame on the other for the uncomfortable feelings that are elicited through the relationship, we begin to thank the other as we realise that they are facilitating a great purging of old habits, patterns, and emotions.
We embark on a deep roller-coaster healing journey to come home to ourselves and then, and only then, are we really able to know and experience love for another being.
The key to navigating this tumultuous, and often confusing, terrain is to remember that it’s not about what the other is doing; the triggers are an invitation to look within and transform that which was mistakenly understood as love, care, and a “normal” dynamic between male and female. And yet, we are so deeply conditioned to believe that love is something we try to get rather than something we become that we tolerate abuse and disrespect from another under the false belief that this is a twin flame relationship and somehow that makes it spiritual and special.
Like the yin yang symbol, it seems to me that twin flame and trauma bond relationships are always woven together to varying degrees. Both are contained within each other.
The bottom line is that you will attract romantic partners into your life who mirror the state of your internal masculine or feminine template that was created during your formative years through your relationship with your parents.
A trauma bond or twin flame relationship can be powerful and healing if you understand what is happening, and you are deeply committed to self-love. But without awareness, it can just be an unhealthy cycle of retraumatising and embedding even more deeply the belief that you are not worthy of love.
Remember to keep checking in on your own growth and development. If you find yourself in unhealthy patterns and feel obsessed with your partner even though they are not honouring you, it may be that you are giving too much energy to them and that you are not respecting and valuing yourself.
The journey home is to learn how to give to ourselves now that which we did not receive from our parents. Looking to another to complete us will always be an exhausting endeavour at best, and a recipe for disaster at worst.
We are all worthy of being loved. We have to discover for ourselves what love really is, but we won’t find the truth of love in the mainstream narrative. The trick is to remove everything that is not love from within us so that we can reveal the love that we are.
And the truth of twin flame relationships is that they can facilitate your journey home to your own inner sacred union—or they can be an endless reservoir of pain and suffering.
If you are experiencing abuse or do not feel safe, then my guidance would be to leave. Your twin flame is not your only chance to know love! There will be other people who will show up in your life who will also be instrumental in you finding your way home to self-love.
I learnt to choose love and healing over pain and suffering. What do you choose?