Friday, October 19, 2012

Travel Harassment - Disability Counter Surveillance


Seattle (ESTRA) - When harassment enters your life, it disrupts daily routine, impacts relationships, causes emotional and physical trauma.  In my opinion, Insurance Company or Self-Insured Employer's goal is to get you off balanced, bring financial hardships into your life, and thus, drop you to your knees in tears,  begging them to go away and leave you alone.  

On October 3, 2012, I personally believe this was a day of testing.  First, I woke up to find I had no disability benefits available. This meant I would be leaving for Los Angeles without much money in my account. These travel plans had been made months earlier.  Now, perhaps harassers thought this would be enough to end my plans and to crack me.  I've walked through many storms, so trials and tribulations are nothing new.  I am a witness that going through fires can indeed make you stronger, but there is always a cost.
Harassment Exist At Grocery Stores

I continued on with what I had and could borrow.  Great, borrow.  Debt is a looming thing for someone with limited resources.  Yet, as I mention time and time again, FOCUS is the key to getting where you are going.

I'm sure harassers were filled with delight to my rude awakening.  Feeling their accomplishment of my demise, since nothing else had stopped me from talking about their intimidation and harassment.  Did they really think more bullying would shut me down?  Or do I have the "Bruce Willis in Die Hard"  phoenonum going on?

So onward and upward to catch my flight, with a heavy heart.  The selected Airport Parking perform an excellent job of getting me to Seattle/Tacoma Airport. Southwest Airline services for people with Disabilities are very considerate.  Thus far, I have not received better service from an Airline.

At this time, it appears harassers are scrambling a bit.  Had they expected this to be my drop to your knees in tears experience?  Hadn't they not read my book? That time for me has already past.  From my view, it seemed to take them time to recover from an unexpected event.  Me arriving for the flight? Was this the reason for next surprise?

When traveling to the Caribbean last summer, I thought my luggage being searched was just random.  And thought nothing about it. When I travel to Los Angeles via LAX Airport this summer, my luggage was search again and I began to wonder is it random or specific?  By my last trip to Los Angeles, this fall, with another baggage search, I was convinced there was nothing random in the dismantling of my luggage.  And unfortunately, this wasn't the worst part of this trip.

Harassment Exist At Gas Stations
The next adventure of continual rescheduling of my flight became perpetual. It was scheduled to leave the Seattle/Tacoma Airport by 11 a.m.  It was changed so many times that  I began wondering if I would be able to get out of Seattle.  The plane ended up leaving at 4 p.m., making my arrival time into Los Angeles at 9 p.m. that evening. My pain levels were rising like the sun and I had the heat too, my injuries were on fire.  Fatigue levels reached despairing levels.  But, I've been here before.  Pain at this point has been around for quite some time.

I thought, could they do this? Do they have enough power to attempt to make this a miserable trip? Initially I thought, no, who would aggravate an entire plane of people, just because they were surprised by my ability to still take this flight? Common, ESTRA, that seems ridiculous, I thought to myself.  But, I couldn't let the thought go. I  know things can happen to delay flights, but there was something unusual about it.  Upon arriving at LAX  Airport, our attendant said, we don't know what was going on in Seattle, and apologized again for the long delays. Could there have been more than one thing going on?  I don't know.  But, what I do know is that the harassment and intimidation is real.  How many were on the plane that day?  I cannot give you headcount.  But I assure you, there were a few. If you don't think we need to change the laws to protect the Disabled from Insurance and Self-Insured Employers, ask someone who has made it through this type of abuse.  Or those who buckled under the pressure.  This pressure is not for the faint of heart, and no one who gave into their demands should be ashamed.  In my opinion, their behaviors are mean spirited.  From my perspective, they are used to break down and terrorize the Disabled in an effort to keep them quiet and give up their benefits.

Harassment in Los Angeles was no picnic for those doing their employer's work. When they have no road map to follow as to where you are going, they are not in control, and therefore, make mistakes. And, fortunately, unable to set up psychological games to bully as easily. I had a week of rest and enjoyment dispite them.

However, things did not get any better on my way back to Seattle.  Southwest Airlines Disabled Services were great again. But, to my surprise, my ability to get through TSAA Security would soon provide additional knowledge to my baggage of harassment experiences.  As I passed through security, I was stop as a random person to search.  Which by this time, my perspective of random was out of the window. What happened next is still unbelievable. A TSAA Employee began swiping my hand.  I was immediately informed by the beeping of a machine that I had gun powder residue on my hand? What? How? When? This is truly outrageous.  I had just spent a week in a home where I did absolutely nothing, and who's home products were organic.  In my opinion, this was about pre-programming harassment.  Do harasser have too much power?  Are they running our country?  Or have too much influence? Do they believed this country belongs to them instead of the citizens?  I was in shock.  However, it enforced my opinion that these harassers need to be placed in check. The average citizen should not be subjected to these harassment tactics, especially the disabled who typically are not able to fight against forces such as this, and typically, not sure how to get their voices heard. Can the average person even process this situation?  Personally, I don't know what I would be thinking if it had not happened to me.

There was a guy standing before me at TSAA security location, with a smirk on his face, like he was enjoying watching me go through this. To confirm my suspicions, I ask him whether he had also been randomly selected.  His reply was no. In my opinion, I thought he could be the person who instigated this search on me.  Are we going back to the time of  don't touch my "JUNK"?  I can see why people were upset, everything except my "junk" was checked, including my "trunk".

Harassment Exist At Concerts Or Aiports 
I was concentrating hard on absorbing what was happening to me at these moments in order to share them with you, otherwise I would have been furious. Several of the TSAA Personnel looked upon the screen, looked back at me with disbelief written on their faces, I cannot imagine what vile, untrue information they were seeing. But, by the look on their faces, I know it wasn't good.  But, how did they get it there?  Who  was responsible? More importantly, was there a way for me to get that information? Is there a direct link between them and Insurance Companies or Self-Insured Employers?  The privacy each citizen use to expect, has been lost in my opinion.  When Insurance Companies and Self-Insured Employers have the power to influenced those in Public Office, or our Airport Security Personnel.  Movie's fiction has become an reality.  My perspective when watching movies and seeing  individuals in similar situations has been forever changed. I will wait to hear both sides of a story before making up my mind, rather than believing just what I see.

What I will take from the movies, is the individuals sheer determination to set things straight.  This is why I personally believe in advocacy. In my opinion, it is a way to level the playing field and bring attention to needed change in the treatment of sick or injured individuals by Insurance Companies or Self-Insured Employers.

But until these changes are made, there are other options available to you.  You can have an empowered mind and spirit.  You can choose to endure anything they throw your way and live to tell the tale.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the harassment and intimidation thrown at the injured and sick by Insurance Companies and Self-Insured Employers provide upon graduation a Ph. D. in Overcoming.  Yes, you can achieve it.  Anytime you are being "schooled" in playing "hardball" with people who have the power and control in your society, which creates a "David and Goliath" relationship, you have to stay focus to achieve your goal of gaining life back, along with the respect and dignity of your condition.  Yes, you will have to fight for it.  Because when there is money involved, in my opinion, these people would rather die than do the right thing, which means pay out your benefits, when they exceed the amount of money they are willing to pay out.

Be involved in your community and people elected at this level and Federal Level.  Sleeping is not an option now, unless you want harassment and intimidation at the whims of Insurance Companies and Self-Insured Employers.


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ESTRA Seattle Car Accident Advocacy

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Insurers do delay payments in hopes to discourage Insured. All of us standing together can turn these behaviors around. We don’t have to put up with this individually or as a country. We are millions strong, with great minds and creativity. Harassment and intimidation by Insurers can be stopped. How? By each individual who’s been preyed upon after filing Auto Insurance, ERISA, LTD, and Social Security Claims join me, ESTRA to pass Insured Civil Rights Legislation. This will end Insurers ability to keep benefits and settlements by making Insured Disability Surveillance Targets. Best Recovery Wishes, ESTRA