Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here: The Hell of Legal Abuse Syndrome

Posted on April 10, 2015


This is the third sequential post on this blog about Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS), a condition proposed by marriage and family therapist Karin P. Huffer “that develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud” and that’s exacerbated by “abuse of power and authority and a profound lack of accountability in our courts.” This post surveys accounts of affliction (and its sources) drawn from various websites.

abandon all hope
Editorial intrusions and commentary in this post have been kept to a minimum, but some grammatical polishing is acknowledged.

You May Be Suffering from Legal Abuse Syndrome if You Have Been a Victim of DCF”:

I have been doing some reading on LAS (Legal Abuse Syndrome) and PTSD since I have begun to fear my own shadow. I hate the doorbell to ring. I run to the window to try to see who it might be, and rarely answer. If someone knocks on the door with any force, I am paralyzed. I do not like to answer the phone and thank God for caller ID. When I go out of the house, heaven help me if I see a child who reminds me of what we have lost. I cannot tell you the number of times I have vomited in public toilets. A police car in the rearview mirror leads to deep breathing and panic attacks. The thought of walking into a courtroom is enough to reduce me to a shaking mess. Certain names…can cause me to feel a sense of violation like no other. Sleep rarely happens and is often interrupted by nightmares, or even worse, waking and screaming for my child. No one cares; all of those I thought would protect us have not only failed us but willingly allowed misconduct and lies. Those I held in high regard due to their positions of trust and power I have found to have let their power corrupt their values and morals. Do I think I am ill? Yes, I know I am. I have a good doctor who is trying to help, a church to support me, and my husband and children who have stood by me, but I also know I will never be the same person I was. I will never trust in the “system” and have been totally disillusioned by what I always thought were my constitutional rights as an American citizen not only being disregarded but willfully being trampled on by those sworn to protect them.

Sufferer Legal Abuse Syndrome” (MyPTSD.com):

I was just diagnosed with PTSD from a prolonged and nasty legal battle (10 years). It was my understanding that PTSD was only for vets coming back from war. I guess there are other ways to fight wars. Mine was in the courtroom trying to fight off the onslaught of unethical attorneys and judges. I believe I fought for a good cause, but it has taken its toll on me. My nerves are shot; I have anxiety from the minute I wake up until I go to bed. Thoughts of what they did and the power they had over me and my children are with me always. I want to have a life, but I still deal with the consequences every day. I feel guilty for feeling this way as there are so many other people who have been through much worse. I think the feeling of being powerless and abused by a system I had faith in has shaken my foundation. My feelings about people and the world have changed forever, and my trust level is very low. A psychologist involved in the battle betrayed me and my family with lies, along with two other professionals in this field, all my attorneys, and the judges. You might discount my viewpoint as overboard. It took a long time to see it myself, but my investigations proved correct.

Legal Abuse Syndrome” (Caught.net):

I became depressed, physically ill, and seriously suicidal after experiencing the insanity of litigation. I lost my home and was sent to the street with nothing but the clothes on my back. Literally everything I owned was gone for several years. I fought my fight to points of exhaustion where all I could do was stare into space. Friends had left; I was emotionally isolated, and normal living activities were no longer normal. Rage doesn’t come close to describing the feelings I lived with for years. Even this is not the full story of how bad it got.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Legal Abuse Syndrome”:

I was diagnosed about two years ago with LAS [Legal Abuse Syndrome]. Protracted litigation and corrupt court decisions not only exacerbated my fibromyalgia but caused me to begin a whole new set of debilitating symptoms which have rendered me unable to sleep properly, hold a job, succeed in relationships, enjoy life, maintain goals, dreams, and hope. I suffer from what I call “spinal cord attacks,” which feel like rushes of adrenaline or cortisol permeating my spine, making me feel paralyzed, causing severe pain, lasting for 30 seconds to two minutes, and resulting in complete exhaustion and distress.

My once beautiful life as a drama and music teacher, writer and producer of children’s musicals, and fledgling writer has all but vanished. I am so debilitated from extensive legal research, useless and destructive attorneys and judges, horrendous living conditions imposed upon me by corrupt judges who denied me due process, the loss of my beautiful family home to my ex (which I had been paying for but couldn’t qualify for), the purging of all my earthly belongings, a now transient lifestyle, and increasing medical problems like high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, and hopelessness.

Massachusetts Mother Calling for Family Court Justice in Domestic Abuse Cases”:

I have missed all of my three daughters’ birthdays, first days of school, first dances, holidays, vacations, and school volunteering since 2007. My youngest daughter, Kelly, is nine. That means I have already missed out on half her life. I am not a drug addict. I am not an alcoholic.  I was and still am an upstanding citizen in the community despite Attorney Arabasz and his clients’ attempts to cause deliberate and malicious harm to me. I do my best to volunteer in the community, including hospice and domestic abuse, and have won numerous awards for my volunteerism over the years, which tends to bring me a renewed sense of healing from my own traumas. My children and I cannot get back those formative years we have missed. They are gone forever, never to return.  I am speechless in my ability to describe the pain and anguish I feel over this injustice alone.

Over that time, as documented through the courts, I have endured numerous, repeated, serious abuses that I have come to the court pleading for help with to no avail.  I am a human being who can take being abused only for so long.  I have suffered serious, repeated, unrelenting, undue stresses, many of which are criminal in nature, that have caused health issues. When the trial arrived, I prayed and hoped for justice to finally prevail for the sake of my children.

I have been severed from my children’s lives with little to no contact since August 3, 2011, and even longer since September 2007. The verdict of August 2012 from the trial was devastating to me and I worried about the long-term negative impact it would have on my children….

As a result, I am currently being treated for ADHD, Legal Abuse Syndrome, and trauma-related stress, and my treatment since trial has increased. Symptoms of trauma-related stress include gastrointestinal issues; anxiety and fear, especially when exposed to situations reminding me of the many repeated traumatic events; trouble sleeping; trouble eating; low energy; memory problems, including difficulty remembering aspects of the trauma; a “scattered” feeling and inability to focus on work or daily activities;  emotional “numbness,” which causes me to feel withdrawn, disconnected, or different from others; and protectiveness of loved ones or fear for their safety.

I did not suffer any of these symptoms until after I married an abusive partner and endured years of abuse. I was a victim that the system failed to protect, and now I suffer greatly. I was a fantastic mother, and even the father never questioned my ability to care for or mother these children until he got what he wanted and stole financially through the divorce.  However, the system has stripped away all my ability to love, nurture, and parent my three daughters who need me greatly.

The foregoing first-person accounts are hardly comprehensive; they were culled because they’re evocative. Notably, they echo numerous comments submitted by visitors to this blog, who have reported everything from homelessness and hopelessness to living “like a hamster” to contemplating suicide. Many respondents to the e-petition “Stop False Allegations of Domestic Violence” have reported the same.

The third-person account below, though it leaves the victim’s torment to the reader’s imagination, is certainly no less sympathetic than those above. It speaks, particularly, to how blind or indifferent others may be to the effects of legal abuse.

How academia betrayed and continues to betray Aaron Swartz”:

As news spread last week that digital rights activist Aaron Swartz had killed himself ahead of a federal trial on charges that he illegally downloaded a large database of scholarly articles with the intent to freely disseminate its contents, thousands of academics began posting free copies of their work online, coalescing around the Twitter hashtag #pdftribute.

This was a touching tribute: a collective effort to complete the task Swartz had tried—and many people felt died trying—to accomplish himself. But it is a tragic irony that the only reason Swartz had to break the law to fulfill his quest to liberate human knowledge was that the same academic community that rose up to support his cause after he died had routinely betrayed it while he was alive.

This survey concludes with an impersonal commentary from a woman who’s still embroiled in legal strife and fears the consequences of speaking about it too candidly in a public medium. She has removed herself to another state to escape a malicious accuser’s clutches but remains in the crosshairs, despite having been deprived of everything she once took for granted—including her sense of self.

‘White Collar’ Domestic Violence Sanctioned by the State”:

The fraudulently obtained protective order is the new tool of abuse for abusers to obtain total power and control over their victims. The protective order is obtained using false allegations of domestic violence and abuse against the victim in an open court of law without due process or an evidentiary hearing. The protective order is then used as a state-sanctioned license to stalk, harass, intimidate, and continue to abuse the victim. The victim lives in constant fear that s/he will be arrested and incarcerated any time the abuser chooses to place him or her in jail. The accuser plays the victim of his or her own crime [cf. Dr. Tara Palmatier’s “Presto, Change-o, DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender”].

This is the new “white collar” form of domestic violence and abuse. It is a tactic used by both men and women to gain the upper hand in a divorce or custody battle, or to have a domestic partner simply removed from a lease and ejected from his or her own home. In the case of a victim’s terrible misfortune of coupling with a psychopath or sociopath suffering from a narcissistic or borderline personality disorder, the protective order is fraudulently obtained by means of false accusations of domestic abuse simply to gain total power and control over him or her while simultaneously inflicting emotional distress to hurt and humiliate him or her and publicly harm his or her reputation. This in and of itself allows the abuser to compromise the integrity of his or her victim with a permanent public record, thereby impugning the victim’s character. This not only serves to satisfy the malicious intent of the abuser; it also renders the victim helpless in any and all attempts to plead innocence and defend him- or herself to law enforcement and the courts.

Acts of malicious intent by way of falsifying police reports, manufacturing evidence, and committing perjury in a court of law—all crimes at a felony offense level—go criminally unprosecuted because restraining order courts are of a civil nature, held by low level officials with no due process. Any attempts by the victim to file complaints or police reports of his or her own are useless and futile attempts at self-protection, because probable cause cannot be proven; a victim simply cannot prove with tangible evidence the intent or motive of the abuser. All attempts by the victim to file complaints or police reports to protect him- or herself do is embolden and provoke the abuser to escalate the abusive behavior toward the victim to the point that the victim cannot attend school, go to work, or even leave his or her own home out of living in a constant state of fear that the abuser will have him or her arrested on a whim.

Without due process and without protection, the victim is ultimately under the total power and control of the abuser. Law enforcement and the legal system (the courts, the judges, the attorneys) are all simply pawns in the sociopath’s sick game of abuse of process. A carefully constructed web of lies is in itself so complex that the victim is powerless to prove s/he is the victim of abuse, not its perpetrator. Over time, after the victim is professionally and academically destroyed, publicly humiliated, and ultimately alienated and completely isolated from his or her community, from friends, and even from family, s/he begins to doubt him- or herself and eventually loses all sense of human identity. Many victims commit suicide as a result of the abuse.

Copyright © 2015 RestrainingOrderAbuse.com

*See also this post about the death of Christopher Mackney, which contains links to his suicide note: “First Amendment Rights from Beyond the Grave: Defense of a Suicide’s Publication of His Final Words by the Randazza Legal Group.” The circumstances that conduced to Mr. Mackney’s taking his life are chronicled in a forthcoming book by investigative journalist Michael Volpe, which is titled, Bullied to Death: The Chris Mackney Story.