Hate Mail from That Disability Claims Investigator, Part 7: My Line by Line Response, Concluded (Finally!)

[Note: the following is continued from Hate Mail from That Disability Claims Investigator, Part 6: My (Seemingly Endless) Line by Line Response.]

DCI: I mentioned to your psychiatrist that I’m fearful of your ability to travel to NJ or PA. I mentioned your comments about Adam Lanza, how you identify with Adam Lanza. I said I dont feel safe that you’re not incarcerated or that you have yet to voluntarily admit yourself to a mental illness treatment facility…Your behaviors, your comments, your violations of people’s boundaries are a danger to the public…Please voluntarily admit yourself to a mental illness treatment facility so that we may not live in fear that you may harm yourself or others…If you do not do so I will call the Cary PD again and request that you be involuntarily committed. It’s your choice Dan.

Me: I wholeheartedly agree that my identification with Adam Lanza is alarming. I too found it alarming, at least at first, which is why I thought it best to tell people about it. Following the trauma of the Civil Rights violations I endured last year, I found myself exploring some dark corners of my own imagination, and what I found there frightened me. Was I losing my mind? Was I doomed to become some sort of monster?

But then I thought it through critically. I remembered such very important and publicly observable facts as that I have no history of violence, and especially that I own no guns nor weaponry of any kind. My total lack of guns, bombs, etc. is hugely important here. All of the real monsters have guns and other kinds of weapons, usually a lot of them. The fact that I don’t is powerful evidence against the hypothesis that I’m in danger of becoming some sort of monster. I also found it reassuring that I was willing to tell people about my fears, to reach out for help with them, and to accept the help I received in response. Does any of that sound like a real monster? I don’t think so. Clearly I was deeply troubled and needed help, but I was a victim of a crime, not a perpetrator of one.

To my view, the only thing monstrous about any of this, really, is that in addition to receiving the help I asked for, I have also been harshly punished because I asked for that help. First I was fired by MetLife, then the EEOC dismissed my complaint against the company for the flimsiest of reasons, then I lost another great job because I was still hung up on what happened at MetLife, and now I’m facing the threat of a criminal record, fines, and possible jail time — all because I refuse to be silent about the Civil Rights crime that these 12 or so MetLife employees committed against me last year.

DCI: You’re in full denial. 

Me: If you mean that I fully deny that your misunderstanding of me is actually me, then yes, I’m in full denial of that. Get your facts about me straight, and you’ll find me much more inclined to agree with you.

DCI: I understand [your sister] is taking steps to ensure you check yourself in for treatment. I’ll let her take over at this point.

Me: I have been interviewed at length by my psychiatrist and by the police, and none of them sees any value in hospitalization. I’m not a danger to anyone. Really.

DCI: I would also suggest a polygraph analysis to get to the root cause of your lies / fraud.

Me: I’d be happy to participate in such an analysis, but you’ve stated twice that nothing I could say or do would change your opinion of me. If such an analysis were to confirm my honesty, would that change your opinion? Or would you just shrug it off as a false test result?

[Note: in response to a question about what kind of evidence might change his opinion of me, he wrote:]

DCI: I’d need to review the rationale for your disability denial. 20 appeal analysts in disability claims, most of us with 20 years of claims experience, masters degrees and not one of us has ever seen a disability appeal for autism. There was ONE. But it wasn’t approved for autism it was approved for depression. And it probably got paid to avoid litigation costs 

Me: Once again, that may be evidence of discrimination against autistic people. At the very least it’s evidence that you and your colleagues have no experience whatsoever with autism and therefore no business having an opinion on the subject, one way or another — certainly not as to whether I may be pretending to be autistic. When you accuse me of fraud, you are simply guessing in the darkness of your own ignorance and pretending to be certain about your guess.

[Note: Part of DCI’s anger at me was due to his perception that I had betrayed his trust, and when I asked whether deleting his comments from my blog would make us even, he wrote:]

DCI: You dont owe me anything. I simply didn’t want to get involved with something like this. You called me for advice. I had no idea (because you didn’t tell me everything) that all of these other things were going on. It would have been important for me to have a full understanding of your legal situation before giving an opinion. As a disability claim manager I look at the entire picture, not just the medical picture but the potential to use disability for secondary gain.

Me: If it is true that I didn’t tell you enough about the context, then it’s at least partly because you didn’t ask, which is at least as much your own fault as my own. I didn’t betray you. We had an honest misunderstanding.

[Note: this concludes my line-by-line response to DCI’s hostile commentary. I know this was a very long series of posts, but I felt it necessary to write it. I thank you for reading it, even if you couldn’t read the whole thing, and would love to know what you think!]

12 Comments

  1. I can understand your ‘obsession’ and the need to write in response. A lot of my posts are also a result of frustration with what’s happening around my work and life. And of course I’m obsessed, this is my life and I feel strongly about things happening around me, especially things that are going wrong. I think we share a similar obsession with social justice, which is apparently an autistic trait. Do what you think is right but also be prepared to take responsibility for your own actions. Thanks for writing 🙂

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    1. Thanks for weighing in, Thomas! I am glad to know you’re able to identify with my own experience. I will definitely heed you encouragement to take full responsibility for my actions. From a more general standpoint, think they issues of disability, responsibility, and accountability are hugely important, especially when discussing non-obvious disabilities like “high functioning” variants of autism. To the extent that nobody dares suggest that a paralyzed person be responsible for building his or her own ramps and automatic doors, when it comes to an autistic person who is “high functioning” the exact opposite appears to be true. It’s as if the label “high functioning” is taken to mean “completely irrelevant”, which is not just untrue, but hazardously so.

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      1. It takes courage to speak openly about things the way you do and unfortunately, as I’m sure you know, it can bring unintended negative consequences. But I believe you have thought through it carefully, weighing the risks etc., this is what I mean by taking responsibility for your action, which in itself, is admirable because people especially corporations just want to shift responsibility by hiding behind their corporate veil.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. LMAO, that cracked me up (the Thomas part) – somewhat it reminds me of when I bumped into my former classmate in a bus. She and I were having good conversations in the bus, and all the trip she thought I was my doppelganger. I realized it that she thought I was my doppelganger (who also happens to be in the same class with me/with us) when she said goodbye to me, she mentioned my doppelganger’s name. I was in a hurry, so I didn’t bother to correct her, but she gave me a good laugh. 🙂

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      1. Lol. Many years ago a professional colleague mistook me for a guy named Michel (this was in Montreal where it’s a common name for a man). This went on for months before I finally found the nerve to correct her. 🤣

        Liked by 2 people

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