There are gargoyles we imagine, which are scarier than those in real life – unless we mean by them the ones who plan to do us harm (and not just murderers, rapists and other violators of the social contract scheme). For the latter, we have laws, self-defensive mechanisms, and the ultimate justification for flight, and sometimes they work, at others, partially or not at all. We can spend a lifetime fretting over the monsters without; it is those within – the former that haunts and never leaves the home of the mind – that destroy without a finger lifted. For, in the end, it is fear that defeats, and that is well known by students of military strategy.
What weakness the adversary has, should be exploited tenfold as a vulnerability beyond the actual numbers; and what suspicion of doubt is kept in reserve, should be accessed and manipulated in order to magnify the exponential harm perpetrated by a cautious mind. What looms large in one’s mind is quantitatively expanded despite arguments of logic, rationality and calm discourse; for, it is the imagination left untethered when the quiet of darkness falls upon a sleepless night, that the qualitative lack of focus begins to take shape in shadows unseen by a dawning light.
What can be more fearsome than that which we cannot control? In reality, the circumstances that develop and unfold are mostly those that we have allowed for; in the creative recesses of our mental reserves, the expansive and uncontrolled destinies can never be curtailed, but have the limitless potential beyond any reality of sanity. That is why the master torturer knows never to rush, and the interrogator recognizes the value of anticipation; of allowing the quiet fears to grow in the solitude of thought; and in the period between reality and imagination, the monster within can grow tenfold in untold features of taking on masks of fearful expressions and profiles of unfathomable terror.
How does one break that spell? The shattering of an imagined fear is often tied to a fragile psyche that cannot be separated, and like conjoined twins who share a vital organ, should not be bifurcated but with surgical precision. Fear is an interminable intrusion, unless and until the causative forces are intersected by an antidote which dissolves and dissipates. The key is to find the antidote; and in the meantime, to hope that the elements of reality are not so traumatic as to overshadow the forces of psychic quietude.
For Federal employees who suffer from a medical condition, and Postal workers who similarly experience the pain of physical disabilities or psychiatric dysfunctions, the issue of when, how, and if one should file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, is intimately conjoined with the growing monster within, while battling the dual forces of antagonism and contentiousness from without. For, it is often the Federal agency or the U.S. Postal Service which exacerbates the problems associated with a medical condition, which then further complicates and magnifies the monsters stirring within.
To resolve such a problem, the answer lies in the very preparation, formulation and filing of an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; for, in the end, the monster within becomes resolved only when the gargoyles outside are dealt with, and for the Federal or Postal employee with a medical condition, that resolution is defined by obtaining a Federal Disability Retirement annuity, in order to be able to take the next steps to secure a hopeful future, beginning with the act of separating from that environment of the Federal agency or U.S. Postal Service which helps to create the monsters in the first place.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire