I was terminated from my job as a paralegal at the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld days after I lodged a harassment complaint against firm personnel. I had told two of the firm's senior managers that I believed a sexual meaning could be read into the communications of my supervisor and coworkers, and that firm personnel were harassing me thereby. The firm concluded, after consulting a psychiatrist about me, that my harassment charge indicated I suffered from a psychiatric disorder, "ideas of reference" that caused me to attribute a negative meaning to trivial events. With that psychiatric opinion in hand, I qualified for disability benefits from the U.S. Social Security Administration, and I will probably collect about $500,000 in disability, Medicare and Medicaid benefits by the time I "retire" at age 65.
But am I necessarily mentally ill because I see a sexual meaning in the communications of others? Perhaps I am simply immature and perfectly sane.
I recently came across the following observations in an article titled: Shrinking Texts: Against Hermeneutics Under Freudian Auspices. "Every schoolboy knows how easy it is to foist sexual overtones onto almost every sentence one hears in normal conversation, asexual though those sentences might actually be. If we put our minds to it, we can transform countless words and notions into sexual innuendo. When a young wit exercises his ingenuity in this way, and is brash enough (or disrespectful enough) to voice his indiscretions publicly, he usually succeeds only in embarrassing those around him and discrediting himself. We who hear him know that his perverse projections are merely that -- projections. They have no real bearing on the original speaker or on that speaker's language, character, or motivations. We hear such indiscreet interjections and dismiss them, (if our standards of morality and of social decorum are not too severely offended) as the immaturity of youth. When he is older, we hope, he will put away childish things."
Simply because, perhaps, I have the mind and maturity of a fifth grader, should I qualify for a half-million dollars in public monies?