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BREAKING CHAINS: Understanding Trauma Bonds and Healing from Narcissistic Abuse




Trauma Bonds are powerful emotional attachments formed between an individual and their abuser, often as a result of prolonged exposure to psychological, emotional, or physical abuse that leads to a complex web of dependency, guilt, shame, anxiety, a distorted sense of reality, and confusion. This happens over repeated cycles of love-bombing, abuse, and intermittent reinforcement.  These bonds can be incredibly powerful and can make it difficult for the victim to leave the abusive relationship, as they may feel dependent on the abuser for validation, safety, or love.  Once free, the effects of the abuse combined with the trauma bond, can lead to poor decisions and even acting completely out of character.  Whether you find yourself in a marriage with a narcissist or are contemplating leaving, understanding trauma bonds and seeking healing in Him can be transformative.


Biblical Perspective:

The Bible offers guidance and strength for those seeking to overcome trauma bonds. Verses such as Psalm 34:18 ("The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit") and Philippians 4:13 ("I can do all things through him who strengthens me") provide comfort and empowerment.


Ultimately, we have to reset the hierarchy in our lives and dethrone the narcissist from the pedestal they have been on and replace them with God.  



Phases of Breaking a Trauma Bond and Healing from Narcissistic Abuse:


  1. Recognition: Acknowledge & acceptance of the existence of the trauma bond and the harmful dynamics of the abusive relationship.

  2. Education: Educate yourself about narcissistic behavior & abuse, trauma bonding, the dynamics of abusive relationships, and the psychological mechanisms at play. Explore how narcissistic abuse has personally affected you and why you were in this relationship.  Proverbs 19:8 emphasizes the value of acquiring wisdom.

  3. No Contact or Minimal Contact: Establish boundaries and limit contact with the abuser to facilitate healing and recovery. This includes spying on them on social media and revisiting memories together.

  4. Self-Care: Prioritize self-care practices such as rest, therapy, mindfulness, exercise, and healthy relationships to nurture your physical, emotional, and spiritual well being.  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Even Jesus got away to replenish himself.

  5. Processing Emotions: Allow yourself to feel and process the range of emotions associated with the abuse, including anger, sadness, and grief. Working on your healing of traumas, triggers, and attachment wounds. It is necessary for the tears to come out as they release pain that is stored in the body. Even Jesus wept.

  6. Seeking Support: Seek support from healthy, trusted friends, family members, support groups, or trauma informed therapists who can provide Corrective Experiences, words of affirmation, validation, and guidance. Develop strategies for post traumatic growth by taking what the enemy intended for evil and using it for good.  (Gen. 50:20)

  7. Setting Goals: Set personal and professional goals to regain a sense of autonomy, purpose, and direction in life. This will help to rebuild self-esteem and self-worth that has been damaged.  

  8. Boundaries and Assertiveness: Learn to establish and enforce healthy boundaries in all areas of life, coping strategies, and practice assertiveness in relationships.  Proverbs 4:23 advises guarding your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

  9. Forgiveness and Letting Go: Work towards forgiveness as emphasized in Ephesians 4:32, not for the sake of the abuser, but for your own healing and liberation. This doesn’t excuse their behavior nor does it mean you have to have any relationship with them going forward.  Forgiveness does not justify the abuser's actions but releases you from the burden of resentment.  You are handing them over to God so you don’t have to carry it anymore. It empowers you by giving you back your authority in how much control they have on your future.  


Ways to Rebuild Your Life as an Overcomer in Him:


  1. Prayer and Praise/Worship: Spend time in prayer, worship, and meditation, seeking guidance, strength, and clarity. Psalm 46:1 reminds us that God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Our faith lets us praise Him even before we see the victory.  Doing so allows us to connect with the Lord for healing and restoration. (Phil.  4:6-7)  

  2. Scripture Study: Delve into study and meditation of the Word of God for wisdom, comfort, and guidance on your journey to healing and wholeness.  The brain is neuroplastic and you can rewire defaults, lies of the enemy, and maladaptive mindsets by meditating on and memorizing His Word.  Scripture tells us the Word is healing. 

  3. Community: Surround yourself with a supportive community of believers like in Overcomers in Him who can offer shared experiences, encouragement, accountability, and love. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 highlights the strength found in companionship.

  4. Self-Reflection: Engage in regular self-reflection to identify areas for growth, healing, and transformation.  We all have room to grow, yet we are still deeply loved by our Father.  Invest time in personal development and spiritual growth. Romans 12:2 encourages transformation through the renewing of the mind.

  5. Gratitude Practice: Cultivate an attitude of gratitude, focusing on the blessings and lessons learned from your experiences. Trust in God's plan for your life and lean on Him for strength. Isaiah 41:10 assures us that we should not fear, for God is with us.

  6. Healthy Boundaries: Establish and maintain healthy boundaries in all areas of life, honoring your worth and value as a child of God.

  7. Service: Find ways to serve others and contribute positively to your community, finding purpose and fulfillment in helping others. A final step in your healing is to use what you've gone through to help someone else. "who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Cor. 1:4

  8. Professional Support: Seek guidance from qualified therapists or coaches who specialize in trauma recovery and spiritual growth. Proverbs 11:14 encourages seeking wise counsel.  If necessary, take legal steps to ensure your safety and the safety of any dependents. Psalm 82:3-4 calls us to defend the weak and the fatherless.

  9. Creative Expression: Explore creative outlets such as art, music, dance, cooking, or writing as a means of processing emotions and finding healing.

  10. Restoration: Embrace the promise of restoration and renewal in Christ, trusting in His power to redeem and heal all wounds. Rom. 8:28


Overcomers in Him Coaching:

Overcomers in Him coaching provides personalized support and guidance on your journey to healing and empowerment. Through a combination of spiritual insight, practical evidence-based tools, and compassionate encouragement, coaching sessions can help you break free from the bonds of trauma and narcissistic abuse, reclaim your identity and purpose in Christ, and step into a life of abundance and joy. Together, we will explore Scripture, develop personalized strategies for healing and growth, and navigate the challenges of rebuilding your life as an overcomer in Him.


Breaking a trauma bond is a journey that requires courage, faith, and support. By integrating these actions and relying on your faith, you can find the strength to overcome the chains of a trauma bond and experience true healing in Him.


"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Philippians 4:13 


2 Comments


This is a great article. I particularly like the ways to rebuild your life as an Overcomers In Him.

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Thank you so much! I appreciate you and am grateful that the article is helpful! Love and blessings! Connie

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