Here I will attempt a line-by-line response to the fiercely critical comments that were offered to me by the Disability Claims Investigator (DCI) referred to in my recent 3 part series Am I Really Pretending to Be Disabled, Or Are You Just Pretending Not to See My Disability?…. For additional background and context, see Hate Mail from That Disability Claims Investigator, Part 1.
DCI: You’re not disabled.
Me: There’s an alternative hypothesis which is that you simply cannot see my disability. If that’s true, then to my view you are suffering from Disability Blindness, which is an inability to see, understand, and accept as legitimate certain kinds of disabilities, such as my own. Disability Blindness can afflict anyone and appears to be mostly caused by a lack of training. In principle it can be easily corrected by providing such training, but in practice it can be nearly impossible to correct for anyone, such as yourself (and really the entire Disability Insurance Industry), who benefits or profits in some way from being disability blind.
DCI: You’re just obsessed and angry.
Me: I mostly agree, but I would remove the word just. It suggests that my obsessions are somehow no big deal. On the contrary, my unruly tendency to obsess constantly about stuff in varying depth and intensity is a principle symptom of my Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism).
But am I angry? Sometimes, for sure, but I would say that I’m mostly frustrated by the fact that I have a disability that can only be seen, understood, and recognized as a legitimate impairment by those relatively few people who have the requisite training; along with the fact that I am both surrounded by and constantly forced to interact with people who lack such training — people, such as yourself, who suffer from Disability Blindness.
DCI: Counseling after work hours with medication adjustments as needed would be appropriate.
Me: Why are you talking like a psychiatrist? When you pretend to be a psychiatrist you appear ridiculous. I have a psychiatrist who specializes in autism spectrum disorders and who helps me with medication and counseling.
DCI: Why would you sneak into a workplace with a camera if it wasn’t for secondary gain? Sorry you got arrested.
Me: First of all, I did not “sneak”. My visit to the Cary, NC MetLife campus occurred on a sunny day during lunch hour and was observed by dozens of eye-witnesses. I simply walked into the buildings through doors that close very slowly and which had been opened in the first place by employees who freely chose to ignore MetLife’s “no tailgating” security measure which requires employees to check the badges of anybody who tries to walk into the building behind them.
Next, I wore the body camera in order to record the entire event in case I needed to prove later exactly where I went and what I did. I also wore a conspicuous hat inside the buildings which is a violation of the company’s dress code.
Finally, I actually had multiple objectives for that day, one of which was to get myself arrested. So, really, there’s no need to feel sorry for me.
DCI: You have no boundaries.
Me: That’s actually a symptom of Autistic Spectrum Disorder, my disability.
DCI: At what point does your radical ideology end? When you’ve killed someone?
Me: A cornerstone of what you see as my “radical” ideology is actually non-violence. My visit to MetLife was an act of strictly civil disobedience. One of my objectives for the visit was to help raise awareness of and draw attention to a significant public health concern that I think of as The MetLife Meat Grinder. This is a collusive internal process that MetLife systematically uses to shirk its responsibilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and to fire with impunity employees who struggle with certain kinds of disabling conditions. It is cruel and psychologically damaging to its victims, and my family and I have personally witnessed its cold-hearted effectiveness.
Incidentally, to the extent that your own apparent Disability Blindness is shared by your colleagues and by your employer as an organization, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that your employer has it’s own version of The MetLife Meat Grinder.
DCI: As I’ve stated to you privately, seek immediate inpatient treatment for your anger issues.
Me: Again, you sound ridiculous when you pretend to be a psychiatrist. My own psychiatrist has examined me and sees no need for hospitalization.
DCI: Stop dragging the autistic community down your hole of irrational thought.
Me: I don’t think that’s what I’m doing, but I do appreciate that you’re being so honest with me. I assume you want me to return the favor. 🙂