Saturday, December 03, 2005

betrayal bonds: trauma arousal

trauma arousal: This aspect of betrayal bonds is about getting hooked on high risk, high stress behavors, whether sex, business, violence, dangerous activities, or gambling: seeking pleasure in the face of high risk, danger, violence, or shame. I used to have this a lot more when I drank and drugged, but it was not as much a part of my behavior once I got off the booze and drugs. A person gets hooked to the rush, even if it becomes addictive and interferes with life.

All the quotations and information not otherwise attributed above comes from Patrick J. Carnes, The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships (Deerfield Beach, Fla.: Health Communications Inc., 1997), 9-11.


  1. Strangely on this one, I used to be involved in high-risk sports before the trauma. After the trauma I consciously stopped doing all of them.

    With anything that really is high-risk you normally build in lots of additional 'safety' the biggest one of which is knowing when to back off and the second biggest one is being able to fully concentrate on what you are doing.

    For well over a year I _knew_ that if I did some of these high risk things the danger that I would not back-off or be able to focus was far two great for me to be able to do it.

    These days, I wait for a lull - where my mind feels stable and calm and the memories feel 'far away' before I engage in any of this stuff.

  2. That's interesting. I stopped nearly all the high risk stuff when I got sober. Before then I would do a lot of high risk things just on account of being wasted and self-destructive all the time.

  3. I think there are two types of people who take part in 'high-risk' sports.

    1. Death-wish adrenalin junkies - they scare the crap out of everyone else.

    2. People who are willing to take calculated risks in order to enjoy some activity.

    They are a self selecting group because the second type stay the hell away from the first type. The second lot tend to be mellow when doing extreme stuff not 'wired' or 'hyped'.

    Within the two groups sometimes the first lot think the second lot is completely mad because the second lot are often willing to do more 'extreme' things simply because they can and they can manage fear.

    On average the second lot outlive the first lot - they tend to carry more Plan B kit and not panic in a crisis.