The Dissociative Bond
Dissociation leaves a psychic void and a lingering sense of psychic absence. How do 2 people bond while they are both suffering from dissociation? The author explores the notion of a dissociative bond that occurs in the aftermath of trauma?a bond that holds at its core an understanding and shared detachment from the self. Such a bond is confined to unspoken terms that are established in the relational unconscious. The author proposes understanding the dissociative bond as a transitional space that may not lead to full integration of dissociated knowledge yet offers some healing. This is exemplified by R. Prince's (2009) clinical case study. A relational perspective is adopted, focusing on the intersubjective aspects of a dyadic relationship. In the dissociative bond, recognition of the need to experience mutual dissociation can accommodate a psychic state that yearns for relationship when the psyche cannot fully confront past wounds. Such a bond speaks to the need to reestablish a sense of human relatedness and connection when both parties in the relationship suffer from disconnection. This bond is bound to a silence that becomes both a means of protection against the horror of traumatic memory and a way to convey unspoken gestures toward the other.