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  • Writer's pictureKasi Drummer

Understanding the Psychological Impact of Ruby Franke's 'Love' Defense: Insights from a Trauma Therapist in Fort Worth

Updated: Apr 26

If you have seen the news, Ruby Franke has been convicted of extreme abuse and neglect. Her defense? Love. She claims that her actions were driven by love for her children. This may sound unsettling to many of us, but let's look at it through a trauma-informed lens. Ruby believed that her children were evil, and possessed and that she was trying to save them from harm. In her mind, her actions were coming from a place of love and protection.

She rationalized the abuse and neglect as necessary measures to keep her children safe. This is a perfect example of how trauma can distort one's perception and decision-making. Trauma is often generational and passed down from one generation to the next, creating a cycle of abuse and neglect. In this case, Ruby may have experienced trauma in her own childhood and never received proper support or treatment. This led to her adopting unhealthy coping mechanisms that ultimately had detrimental effects on her children.

The Power of Love and Attachment

As humans, our need for love and attachment is ingrained in us from birth. It's a biological drive that helps us survive and thrive. When we are infants, the way our caregivers respond to us shapes our sense of self-worth and how we view relationships. In healthy situations, this leads to secure attachment styles where we feel safe and loved. However, in situations like Ruby's, where a caregiver is unable to provide consistent love and safety, it can lead to insecure attachment styles.

Insecure attachment styles can manifest in various ways, such as anxious-preoccupied, dismissive-avoidant, or fearful-avoidant. These attachment styles can affect how we form relationships and navigate the world. In Ruby's case, her insecure attachment style may have contributed to the way she responded to her children's needs. She may have had difficulty understanding and meeting their emotional and physical needs because she never experienced that kind of love herself.

Her "Love" Defense and Trauma

When people like Ruby use "love" as a defense for their abusive actions, it's important to understand that it's not genuine love. This defense may be used on individuals who are starving for affection and attention, which is often a result of early childhood trauma. In these cases, the person may not have a healthy understanding of love and may equate it with control and manipulation. Individuals who use this defense, like Ruby, say that they are only doing it for the other's "own good." In reality, their actions are a reflection of their own unresolved trauma and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

This defense also affects power dynamics. In Ruby's case, she was in a position of power and control over her children. Her "love" defense further perpetuated this power imbalance, making it difficult for her children to speak out or seek help. Control is a really big factor as the adult uses their position to tell the child they should do things out of "love". It mimics one person in authority, while the other is seen as subservient.

How Does Trauma Impact Our Perception?

When the love defense is being used on abused individuals, it denies their reality and contributes to their continued suffering. It causes them to question their own feelings and experiences, leading to self-blame and self-doubt. This is especially harmful in cases of childhood abuse, as the child may grow up believing that they deserved the abuse or that it was "just tough love." There is no way of communication to be processed in a way that the child's pain is heard and validated.

In this case, the child doesn't have a voice and their parent is trying to "drive out" bad behavior all in the name of love. This can lead to long-term effects on their mental and emotional well-being, making it difficult for them to form healthy relationships and trust others. For instance, when an individual is confronted with the "love" defense from their partner, they may experience triggers and feel unsafe in the relationship. It invalidates their reality, which can be a form of gaslighting. It can also lead to a distrust of the natural gut instinct. It can be difficult for individuals to trust their own feelings and perceptions when they have been constantly told that what they experienced was "love."

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a tactic used to make victims doubt their own reality, feelings, and experiences. By framing her abusive behavior as acts of love, Ruby not only distorted her perception of reality but also manipulated her children's understanding of love and care. This manipulation can have long-lasting effects on victims, leading to confusion, self-doubt, and difficulty in discerning healthy relationships. For instance, sex addiction in Fort Worth, TX can form due to the feeling of invalidation. Without proper support and understanding, individuals like Ruby's children may continue to struggle with the effects of their traumatic childhood into adulthood.

How Does Childhood Trauma Affect Adulthood?

Children who are subjected to such distorted notions of love and care can experience stunted cognitive development. Their understanding of healthy relationships, boundaries, and self-worth can be severely compromised. They may struggle with emotional regulation, empathy, and forming secure attachments in the future. This can have a detrimental impact on their mental and emotional well-being, leading to issues like anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.

At our counseling practice, we often see this in individuals struggling with sexual addiction in Fort Worth, TX and other forms of addiction. They may turn to these unhealthy coping mechanisms as a way to fill the void and numb the pain caused by their childhood trauma. These addictions can further perpetuate the cycle of abuse and trauma. It can also create new traumas and challenges in their adult relationships.

Seeking Support from a Trauma Therapist Specializing in Childhood Trauma

Seeking support from a trauma therapist in Fort Worth, TX, or finding trauma treatment in Fort Worth, TX can be a crucial step towards healing from childhood trauma. Finding trauma therapy that is tailored to address the effects of childhood trauma and attachment issues can be immensely helpful. It can help individuals like Ruby's children heal from their past wounds, understand healthy relationships, and develop coping mechanisms that are not harmful to themselves or others.

In trauma therapy, a therapist will help individuals realize that everyone has or needs to have a voice in relationships. It empowers them to set boundaries, communicate their needs, and trust their own perceptions. For instance, in the case of Ruby's children, they can learn that love is not about control or manipulation but about mutual respect and understanding. Also, a therapist can help individuals see that they don't have to stay in a relationship that does not feel right, even if the other person is using "love" as a defense for their abusive actions. Because the "love" defense is abuse. Abuse is abuse no matter how you dress it up. It's not love. Seeking help and support can be a crucial step towards breaking free from the cycle of trauma and living a healthier, fulfilling life.

Learn What Love Really is with a Trauma Therapist in Fort Worth, TX

It's important to remember that true love does not involve control, manipulation, or abuse. It is based on mutual respect, trust, and support. If you or someone you know has experienced childhood trauma and struggles with understanding healthy relationships, it may be helpful to seek support from a trauma therapist in Fort Worth, TX. Trauma therapy and a trauma-informed approach can help individuals heal from their past wounds and learn what true love really is.  At Anew Counseling DFW, we specialize in trauma therapy and provide a safe, compassionate space for individuals to heal and grow. Whether the trauma has evolved to sex and porn addiction or substance abuse or impacts their daily relationships, our specialized therapists in Fort Worth, TX are here to support and guide individuals toward a healthier, more fulfilling life. Don't let the "love" defense keep you from seeking help. True love is about healing, growth, and empowerment, and we are here to help you find it. Take the first step today:

●       Learn More About Us and Our Services.

●       Find Freedom and Healing from Your Childhood Trauma.

Other Therapy Services Offered by Anew Counseling DFW

Your childhood trauma may be affecting multiple areas of your life, and at Anew Counseling DFW we understand that each individual has unique needs. At our Fort Worth, TX-based therapy practice we offer a wide range of therapy services to support you in your journey toward healing. Our other therapy services include Sex Addiction Recovery, Trauma Therapy, Anxiety Therapy, Depression Therapy, and Couples Therapy. Our team of experienced therapists is dedicated to providing a safe, non-judgmental space for you to heal and grow. We believe in the power of therapy to transform lives and are here to support you every step of the way. Don't let your childhood trauma hold you back from living a fulfilling life.

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