One can venture and maneuver through this world with a semblance of normalcy, where from all outside perspectives, a person is untroubled and unencumbered.
There are multiple complexities inherent in such a perspective, of course: what constitutes “normal”; to what extent do individuals have a responsibility in assessing and evaluating a person’s private world; as well as the problem of infringing upon the privacy of others, and the desire of the other to allow for any intrusion, whether consciously or subconsciously.
For, each person constructs multiple layers of privacy zones — from the proverbial picket fence, to one’s own private bedroom; to the gates of a home; but always, the foundation begins within the walls of the skull of one’s brain. For, the gatekeeper is always maintained by the individual, as to what is allowed in, and what is manifested for others to observe.
For the Federal and Postal Worker who is beset with a medical condition, such that he or she must contemplate filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits, whether under FERS or CSRS, with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, it is often the preparation of the actual forms which is the first manifested evidence of an impacting medical condition.
All throughout the previous many years, the apparent normalcy has been closely protected; great performance ratings, minimal leave taken, and daily smiles and platitudinous greetings; until the Federal or Postal worker arrives at a crisis point.
This is the apparent face and semblance of normalcy — the surprise of others, of the regretful and remorseful comment, “I just never would have realized.” Or, perhaps it is the indicia of the busy world in which we all live, which allows us to lack any compassion to notice.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire