Relationships and Trauma
A survivor of complex trauma will often continue the same fantasies they had as children into their adult lives. Survivors look for rescuers or saviours in partners only to become disillusioned when this rescuer shows a human error or is not able to be that unconditional rescuer 24/7.
A survivor can also become the rescuer/saviour looking for a partner that they can save or rescue only to become disillusioned when the partner that loved them so much, in the beginning, is now angry and annoyed and even in more need of being saved.
A survivor can also attach to the idea of being in love rather than actually being present in the relationship in order to act in a loving way towards their partner. This can look like becoming a unit rather than two separate individuals within the relationship. The thinking is ‘we are in love’ or ‘we are married’ so this is what ‘we should do’. There is no respect for each other’s autonomy.
A survivor can also believe that chemistry is love, mainly because they were unfortunate enough to have never experienced a healthy love as a child. When a survivor feels chemistry with another partner they think it is love and then frantically do everything they can to continue this chemistry or get back the honeymoon stage. Sometimes a survivor will stay in an entirely inappropriate relationship (abusive or emotionally unavailable partner) to try to hang on to that ‘feeling’ when it is actually just chemistry.
Healthy relationships have understated chemistry that once no longer the focus (usually when the honeymoon ends) continues to grow at deeper levels.