“Victims are created in two ways: by violence or by deceit. Either type of assault immediately renders the victim hostage to the perpetrator.”
So begins the book Legal Abuse Syndrome, by Karin Huffer, MS, MFT. Lovefraud strongly recommends that anyone who has been victimized by a sociopath read this book, whether you have faced your perpetrator in court or not.
The book explains how people who have suffered injury at the hands of some type of predator often face further injury inflicted by lawyers and the courts, who can be, at best, disinterested, and at worst, corrupt. Legal Abuse Syndrome, Huffer says, is a form of post traumatic stress disorder caused by prolonged contact with the so-called “justice” system.
Along the way, however, the author answers many of the questions that those of us victimized by sociopaths have asked:
If I am the victim, why do I feel guilty?
Why can’t I share my devastation with my family and friends?
How can I recover from this assault?
Conscience-centered and power-centered
Huffer does not call the perpetrators of assault, and the complicit people in the legal bureaucracy, sociopaths or psychopaths. Rather, she describes everyone as fitting somewhere on a continuum of motivation between “conscience-centered” and “power-centered.” The extreme power-centered individuals, however, are clearly sociopaths.
Trust has usually left the conscience-centered vulnerable. If deception is to work, there have to be those who trust. Convergence of power-centered and conscience-centered people, in their purest forms, will inevitably result in the conscience-centered person being victimized. It is a marriage of deathly complementary value systems upon which the power-centered thrive. They literally tend a garden of trusting relationships while perpetrating hidden agendas.
Those who value truth, honesty, and a moral and ethical code make up the majority of people. These masses are the conscience-centered who collide head-on against a slick minority of individuals, the power-centered. PC’s pull out the “big guns” of moral turpitude for power motives, regardless of damage to others or society.
Of course, everyone on Lovefraud knows exactly what the author is talking about.
Eight steps to recovery
Even more important than describing the experience of the victim—”the kidnapping of the soul”—Karin Huffer offers a path to recovery.
- Debriefing: Writing down, in a particular format, exactly what happened.
- Grieving: A natural and healing reaction to the most profound loss—a loss of trust.
- Obsession: Figuring out what happened occupies a victim’s life.
- Blaming: Guilt, rage, anger and wrong need to be directed at the offender.
- Deshaming: Victims must get rid of inappropriate shame.
- Reframing: Reframe the experience with insights that empower and affirm the self.
- Empowerment: Taking ownership of the ravaged experience.
- Recovery: Emerging from victim as a veteran, with honed wisdom, courage and tools.
Huffer’s point is that it is possible to recover from the destruction inflicted by power-centered individuals, i.e., sociopaths, and grow as an individual. It is a message of hope.
This book’s full title is Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome. It provides case studies of people who have been defrauded by criminals, lawyers and judges, often operating in cahoots. Only one case involved a typical Lovefraud story—a deceptive husband trying to cut his wife out of the marital assets. And it does offer advice for people who are in litigation with predators.
But I think the book could be called Overcoming the Devastation of a Sociopath. From cover to cover, it is filled with insight into what we have experienced, and how to come to terms with it. It is invaluable help for anyone who, after gross deception and injustice, trying to recover a sense of self.
Buy the book in the Lovefraud Store.