A couple of incidents during the course of the day influenced me asking the following question:
Can just living in the "hood" expose you to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?
I ask because I had some professional interaction with a gentleman today, who informed me, in no uncertain terms, that he cannot work, or even think about keeping a job, because as an "urban veteran", he suffers from PTSD.
" I am sorry sir. Were you in the military?" Oh no Mr. Field, but I live in Southwest, and as a black man, yourself, I am sure you understand what I go through on a daily basis. After you reach a certain age, a lifetime of living in the hood takes its toll on you and you just can't function." "Sir, I don't want to sound insensitive to your position, but have you ever considered moving?"
I know I know, that was kind of harsh, but I was having a bad day.
Still, I have been thinking about what that man told me, and you know.....hey, the guy might have a point. I am not a psychiatrist, and for professional reasons I can't get into too much more of what went down with the guy, but let's just say that the guy had some legitimacy to him. And before any of you reading this go thinking that the guy is full of it, think again. There are others out there legitimizing what the guy was saying.
Then,to top it off, I saw this story from Detroit. It's urban tragedies like this one ---which plays itself out in so many cities in A-merry-ca on a daily basis--- which led me to the question I asked in the second sentence of the post. We know about the knuckleheads running around and destroying our communities, but what about the people who have to live among them? How is the senseless and random violence and the fear of living with it affecting them?
Veterans coming back from the horrors of foreign wars fall victim to PTSD all the time. Does living in an A-merry-can city and surviving the mean streets that come with them qualify the survivors as veterans as well? Military veterans suffer from various forms of emotional trauma. Apparently urban veterans do, too.