by Travis Mateer
I haver a long road ahead of me if I want to understand how the multiple traumas in my life have impacted my ability to form healthy relationships with others, so consider this post a small step in that long process of integrating trauma so I can avoid the pattern I fell into with all the traumatized people involved in the Rebekah Barsotti case.
What kind of threats was I experiencing as my marriage was falling apart, and who was I putting energy into helping instead of my wife? Regarding the threat, does an alleged hitman seen walking outside my art studio downtown count? Since I felt compelled to hide out in an AirBNB for 5 days, I’d say that counts as a pretty threatening experience.
Helping others in crisis instead of taking care of myself is the pattern I’m trying NOT to repeat for a third time, so for me it’s important to understand how trauma bonding and co-dependency work, something I was wanting to do with my second mistake, but for some reason was discouraged from doing so. Gee, I wonder why?
One of the most challenging aspects of life is forming healthy bonds and relationships with others. When mixed with a history of trauma, it can become even more complicated. Often times, a person who has experienced trauma, forms an unhealthy loyalty to others which is termed as trauma bonding. Trauma bonding means that the “victims have a certain dysfunctional attachments that occurs in the presence of danger, shame, or exploitation” (Carnes, 1997).
In these relationships, a person may experience more abuse, self-sabotage, obsession, distrust, and other negative consequences of the bond. Another, and common, result of addiction and abusive environments, is codependency. Codependency refers to a “type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person’s addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement” (Johnson, 2014). Often, trauma bonding and codependency are confused with each other. Although they have similar characteristics, there are differences as well and it is important to identify the difference with clients to identify appropriate interventions for clinical consideration.
Unlike the YouTubers and other content creators outside of Montana trying to get their piece of the action, I started covering this case for the same reason I’m covering other cases: to understand what the hell is going on in Montana when it comes to the criminal justice system. Here is some of that coverage that earned me an even BIGGER target on my back as compensation.
Missing In Montana And My Cynicism On The Narrative Framing (November 17th, 2021)
What The Hell Is Going On With The Rebekah Barsotti Missing Persons Case? (December 7th, 2021)
Rebekah Barsotti Still Not Found Six Months Later (January 25th, 2022)
Web-Sleuthing This Travis Mateer Guy To Conspiracy Smear His Journalism (February 8th, 2022)
Is There More To New Commenter “DB” Than Meets The Virtual Eye? (February 28th, 2022)
If Mineral County Sheriff, Mike Toth, Went Missing, Would Anyone Notice? (March 6th, 2022)
I Man’d Up With My Wife; David Barsotti Did NOT (March 27th, 2022)
Could A Veteran Program Be Taken Advantage Of By A Liar With An Eyepatch? (March 29th, 2022)
Helping David Barsotti Identify What A REAL Veteran Of War Looks Like (March 31st, 2022)
If I Was Rebekah Barsotti’s Mom… (May 4th, 2022)
You Want A REAL White Supremacist, Missoula? (June 15th, 2022)
How Many Sheriffs Does It Take To Release An Autopsy? (August 2nd, 2022)
Who Is Responsible For Rebekah Barsotti’s Missing Personal Items? (October 16th, 2022)
A Sad Day For Too Many Reasons, But Here Are A Few (July 20th, 2023)
I was cleaning up my studio the other day and came across some documents that I want to get rid of, but you don’t just dump sensitive phone records in the trash, so I communicated with Rebekah’s mother about returning this information. This shouldn’t be difficult to accomplish, but since I’m under legal restrictions and unable to properly defend myself from someone deeply embedded in this case, it’s VERY difficult.
To stop the patterns that result from trauma, it’s important to understand concepts like “trauma-bonding”. Here’s another description to better understand what can happen when people don’t admit they have patterns that they repeat over and over again:
Trauma bonding is a broad term that refers to a specific pattern of relating to others. Trauma bonding is often a re-enactment of our early attachment traumas, where we repeat the same dynamics we experienced in the past. This is because there is a powerful physiological component, in which our nervous system has come to associate a degree of stress and adrenaline with affection, love, arousal and familiarity. There is also an emotional and psychological component, in which the inner child may be trying to re-live, in order to revise, old and painful ways of relating.
If we had a functioning criminal justice system in the state of Montana, maybe more people could find resolution, start healing, and move on, but we do NOT have a functioning criminal justice system in Montana, so people get stuck. Some people even get addicted to crisis and seem to seek it out, like a drug.
It’s Halloween, so the spooks are REALLY going to be out tonight, and hopefully I’ll feel a little less anxious with these documents OUT of my possession, since I never should have had them in the first place. And while there are phone numbers to some scary people in these documents, it’s the ones you let get close who you have to be the most weary of.
If you appreciate the work I’ve done examining the non-functioning of Montana’s criminal justice system, Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) is one way to support my work, and making a donation at my about page is another.
Thanks for reading!