The effects that trauma leaves on people’s lives is very underestimated by the public. In my personal experience, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone talk in a judgmental and condescending tone about how if they had been in a toxic relationship, they would have left immediately. This shames the people who are not able to do so and adds onto the agony they feel. This is a very damaging thing to say to a person who has or is experiencing trauma and is often spoken by an ignorant person who has never been abused.
Many survivors are blinded, and they cannot escape the toxic connection with their abuser even though the relationship has taken a toll on their physical, emotional, and mental wellbeing. The recovery from this kind of connection is like recovery from drug addiction because of the biochemical bonds that are developed with the toxic partner. The survivor attempts to reconstruct the reality thus failing to see the abuser for who they really are and instead they are justifying, minimizing, and rationalizing the abuse to better cope and survive the trauma the victim is experiencing.
One of the reasons why most victims can’t leave their abusive partner is the hormone oxytocin, which is famously known as the “love” or “cuddle” hormone. This hormone is released during physical contact, touching, intercourse, and orgasm. It strengthens the bond between two people. The toxic person may not be skilled in bed as they are skilled manipulators who mess with other people’s heads. Anytime we are smitten with a narcissist, it is because of the level of trust, intimacy, attachment, and emotional security that we get from them during the idealization phase when the narcissist praises us and gives us all the attention in the world.
But, the devaluation phase is when the victim gets hooked to the toxicity of the narcissist. The adrenaline rush of the unpredictability of the relationship makes the victim addicted which is similar to the highs and lows that a gambler experiences on a slot machine – the gambler won’t stop playing even though their loss might be thousands of times greater than what they gain. They fest on every small scrap of attention and tenderness because they are emotionally hungry, and they crave for things to go back as they were before the abuse happened.
Moreover, the neurotransmitter that is responsible for cocaine addiction is the same one that is responsible for addiction to toxic romantic partners. That is dopamine. The craving of someone we love who has rejected us multiple times, it causes an activity in the reward system of our brain which is very similar to the craving a drug addict has for cocaine.
The victim gets obsessed with their abuser not just through love, but also through fear, anxiety, and rumination.
I am currently writing my first book titled “Inside The Narcissist’s Psyche: His Ability To Make Victims Stay With Him Even Though The Pain They’re Feeling Is Unbearable” If you are interested to take a glimpse at it, follow this link and tell us whether you like the subject so that we can send you a free chapter after we publish it.