[Note: the following is continued from Hate Mail from That Disability Claims Investigator, Part 4: My Line by Line Response, Continued Again.]
DCI: People like you are a true danger to society.
Me: Again, I have no history of violence. I have no interest in violence. I don’t practice any martial arts, nor do I own any guns nor weaponry of any kind. I don’t even play violent video games. The last time I was in involved in anything like a physical altercation was almost 40 years ago. I was about 16 years old and some random guy walked up to me, punched me twice in the head, and I started to cry. Your concerns that I’m somehow a “true danger to society” are grounded in zero evidence and are nothing more than an expression of your own anxieties, which in turn are an exaggerated response to your misunderstanding of me.
DCI: I know you will delete this post.
Me: Nope. Not only have I not deleted the comments you’ve posted on my blog, I’ve turned them into this multi-part blog article, and I’ve supplemented them with comments you’ve sent me via text and email messages. I consider you a “guest blogger” and I’m actually grateful that you’ve made the effort to articulate your misunderstanding of me so clearly and with such unbridled enthusiasm. I wish more would muster the gumption to do the same.
DCI: I just hope others learn from your dishonesty.
Me: Again, I am not faking my disability. The doctors who diagnosed me with an Autism Spectrum Disorder did so on the basis of a mountain of publicly observable evidence that took more than 5 decades to accumulate and would be impossible to fake. But I’m happy you brought up the general topic. I’m sure you realize that pretty much everybody lies, at least sometimes, and of course I’m no exception, but neither are you.
For example, these harsh opinions you have of me are a kind of lie. Your expressed level of confidence in these opinions is way out of proportion with the evidence you actually have to support them. At best the evidence you’ve seen supports a measure of doubt or suspicion, but you have been going all-in on your erroneous beliefs about me as though you are certain. In essence, you believe me to be bluffing, and you are hoping to bully me into some sort of confession by pretending to have more evidence than you actually have.
But I know for a fact that you cannot have such evidence, because I know for a fact that I am not faking my disability. It’s you who are bluffing here. It’s you who are being dishonest in this particular situation.
Yes, you are absolutely right to think that I am occasionally dishonest, just as you are along with every other human being old enough to have a reason to lie, good or bad. But in this particular case — as regards my Autism Spectrum Disorder — I’m not lying about that. On the contrary, you are pretending to be more confident in your beliefs than is actually warranted by the evidence.
As you put it above, I hope that others learn from your dishonesty.
DCI: You were able to work for 12 years. As I recall this was with Chubb Institute.
Me: You’re misinformed, again. That 12-years from my resume represents an accumulation of various jobs, interspersed with periods of chronic unemployment. I have never worked anywhere longer than five years. I learned how to program computers in the early 1990’s at a trade-school called The Chubb Institute, and I subsequently worked for 11 months as a contractor at Chubb & Sons Insurance. I have worked a few places for between one and two years, and many other places for less than a year, always quitting or getting fired for reasons relating more or less directly to my Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have been unemployed for much of my adult life, a fact wholly consistent with unemployment rates of 20% and 27% recently found for autistic adults.
DCI: You’ve supposedly had undiagnosed autism your entire life. You claim your autism currently disables you.
Me: Actually, what I find most disabling is not so much my autistic neurology, per se, but rather the widespread Disability Blindness that prevents you and so many others from seeing my disability, from understanding it, and especially from accepting it as a legitimate disability.
What I find consistently in my interactions with others is that to the extent that someone can see for themselves that I am autistic, can understand this fact and accept it, then I am effectively no longer disabled by it. It’s like my disability just vanishes the moment someone actually sees it. The situation is similar to that of a person who needs corrective lenses in order to see clearly, only in my case I would need you to wear the lenses, figuratively speaking, so that you could see my disability clearly. It can be a real hazard for me to try and interact with people like you who do not yet have such corrective lenses, by which I mean the training you would need to see for yourselves, understand, and accept as legitimate my disability.