When we think of a trauma bond, we normally think of a victim and an abuser. This can occur anywhere along the line of a personal relationship, work or civic relationship, all the way up to a hostage situation between strangers. For more information on the types of trauma bonding, click here. But what about two victims of an abuser? Or two victims who experience the same hurt or harm?
Two people can trauma bond to each other in a few different ways. Some of the more common examples are multiple children of an abusive parent (or even a parent and child of an abusive spouse), fellow employees of an abusive manager or supervisor, or even in cases where two people share a bond of the same trauma but with different abusers.
Let’s take a deeper look at the different ways that two people can trauma bond to each other and ways they cannot trauma bond to each other.
Table of Contents
When Family Members Trauma Bond to Each Other
Often, family members will trauma bond with each other because they are they only ones that truly know and understand the trauma they have experienced in their home. Usually this bond is formed in siblings. But it often involves a parent and child or children that have experienced the same harm from the other parent. And often it can involve more than two people who form a trauma bond.
I know that in the home I grew up in, there are things my sister and I talk about that nobody will ever know about. We are both fine with that. And as time goes on, we don’t think or speak about it nearly as much. As we have gotten older, we have healed and learned how to relate to others in healthier ways.
When victims form a trauma bond with each other through a period of abuse (whether it is a short time or for many years), they form a very good support for each other. But as they emerge from the abuse, it is important that they do not continue to bond in this potentially unhealthy way. It is very important, especially in the case of a trauma bonded relationship based on abuse, to get professional help. If you cannot do that at this time, read whatever you can about it to gain some understanding and balance. You can read more about trauma bonding by going here. Additionally, here is the best book I have found on the subject of trauma bonding:
Of course, it is fine to continue a lifelong bond with that person. Remember the phrase, “family is forever.” But it has to evolve as your emotional health does. As you heal together and move on, the potential to be support for each other is exponential. But you need to make sure you are not living in the past that brought you together.
When Non-family Members Trauma Bond to Each Other
Many of the components of trauma bonds with victims who have suffered the same abuse but are not part of the same family are much the same. It is absolutely a benefit to bond throughout the abuse. And it is good to readjust the bonding relationship once you are healing from the trauma you faced.
Where things get a little bit different is when you are not family, there is not necessarily an expectation that you must work through it together or maintain the relationship you have had thus far.
You may not have been close to each other before the trauma that brought you together. You may not have other factors that bring you together in whatever relationship you have formed, whether it is just mutual victims, fellow workers, acquaintances, neighbors, or friends of whatever sort. In this case, it may not be wise to try to force a relationship that would not exist had there not been a trauma bond. And that is okay. It would be so much more harmful to try to keep the bond based only on the trauma you experienced and not other positive experiences that came out of it.
Can Two Narcissists Trauma Bond to Each Other?
The simple answer to this is no, two narcissists cannot trauma bond to each other. Narcissists cannot form emotional bonds. But they can form bonds. They would look more like a business deal. They would use each other for what they could get out of each other. One may have the business or reputation connections that the other one needs. The other one may have the legal connections that the first one needs. It can be literally anything that makes them realize that they can still get something out of the other person that makes it more worth parting ways because of the mutual abuse.
It is certainly not a healthy relationship or one that has any chance of success. And eventually they will settle on making the benefits work out or they will destroy each other. It all depends on how focused they can be on what they want and if they can continue to benefit each other.
If one decides they have had enough and the other perceives that they are going to lose the benefits they are receiving, it can end very badly, just like in a narcissist/empath relationship. The narcissist who feels slighted will not walk away quietly.
Another factor in how two narcissists will relate to each other and for how long is how high or low on the narcissism spectrum each one falls. If one is high on the spectrum and the other low, it will very much resemble the narcissistic/codependent relationship.
No matter what a relationship between two narcissists looks like, it will be volatile and extremely toxic.
To read more about trauma bonding between narcissists and other abusers, check out this article.
If you are trauma bonded with someone who has gone through the same struggles as you, that is a good thing! But it is not good to stay there indefinitely. Both of you need to get some help, healing, and growth. There are more resources out there than ever before! You’ve got this!
What has your trauma bond been like? Where are you on the path to healing at this point? Do you have some goals for where you want to be in the future? Are you currently walking this road with someone else who has been trauma bonded? I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to share in the comments below or message me here if you need to keep things private!
If you think you may be involved in a trauma-bonded relationship, click here for an article that shows you 25 of the signs of trauma bonding. You can read it to see if there is any correlation in your relationships. You can also take this test to see if you have trauma bonding tendencies.