Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PTSD- Real Life Damage….. But Spare Me the Excuses

I was reading blog post by a male blogger, he’s a lawyer from the sound of it, a public defender to be more exact. Mr. Blogger Guy mentioned how one of his clients said he was suffering from PTSD due to living in the ‘hood and was, therefore, unable to work. *left eyebrow raise*

Mr. Blogger Guy and the commenters pondered whether PTSD from ‘hood life was an actual medical condition. Many agree ‘hood life often resembled a war zone; a conclusion the female empowerment bloggers have already reached.

What I found interesting is, to whatever degree this gentlemen may be suffering from PTSD, his not being able to hold a job was not challenged! I will admit I am not current on how PTSD impacts an individual’s life, perhaps the veterans returning home from Iraq are so profoundly affected by PTSD that it interferes with one (or more) of the major life activities (which includes working). If so, that is an identifiable disability.

Can the same be said of the effects of ‘hood living? Maybe not, maybe so.

My Mom moved us out when I was in the seventh grade. Except for a brief stint in a middle class, majority black neighborhood after the end of my military service, I have not lived in a majority black neighborhood in almost fifteen years. Consequently, I have no direct experience of the hazards of living in the ‘hood.

What I understand to be the dangers for the people living in these conditions come from work and the news media. I have watched/heard/read stories about drug dealers, drive-bys, prostitution, interpersonal/domestic violence, child neglect, addiction, home invasions, the list is endless. I can see how it is likely that a person living in these conditions must experience some level of trauma, even if the trauma is not acknowledged by the person experience daily ‘hood life.

That said there are a lot of women and children living in these environments. The women who go to work (when work is available) do so because they have to support their children. The children who go to school (not all of the children eligible to attend actually go or are made to attend) sometimes do so at risk to their safety.

Why can’t Blogger Guy’s client find and keep a job? If anyone is going to man-up and handle a tough situation like ‘hood life, wouldn’t you expect it to be a male person over 21 years of age?

Perhaps I am being too critical. To me it sounded like the Blogger Guy’s client was using PTSD as a convenient rational for not wanting to work. How does he support himself? Parents? Siblings? Wife? Girlfriend(s)? It didn’t sound like he was seeking help for his condition either.

I am blogging about this only to reiterate what other empowerment blogger-divas have already stated. Clearly, the ‘hood is a dangerous place to live and raise children. If this AA male is claiming to be damaged by ‘hood living; what are the implications for women and children?!

Denial, delusion, and burying you head in the sand will not make the facts go away. There is nothing fabulous, ghetto or otherwise, about living in these conditions! If you have a nice apartment in the ‘hood, you still live in the ‘hood!!!

Start making positive steps to get thee out of this situation:

-Create a weekly/monthly financial plan (aka budget) and stick to it!

- Save, save, save! Start a savings account. Even if you only deposit five dollars a week, get in the habit of saving.

-Create a strategic plan for purchases such as clothing, school supplies, etc.

-Know your credit score.

-Use cash only.

-Stop applying for major credit cards and store credit cards.

-Pay down/off credit cards.

-Save (at least three months) for any purchase greater than or equal to 10% of you annual gross income. (This does not include using your savings account!)

-Find a store that offers lay-away.

-Payday loans are not a responsible means of financial planning.

-Learn to delay your gratification. Just because it’s on sale does not mean you need it!

-Spend leisure time away from the mall. Go to the library, go for a walk, visit with family/friends, research home prices and safe neighborhoods.

The above list is not exhaustive. The point is to move ourselves away from mindless consumerism and to a more mindful way of saving and spending what you earn. Being conscious about your money will help you to reign in your spending so you can get what you really need, a safer environment for your children.

Remember wealth is generational. Start (or continue) the cycle in your family.



Khadija said...

Hello there, SouthlandDiva!

"I was reading blog post by a male blogger, he’s a lawyer from the sound of it, a public defender to be more exact. Mr. Blogger Guy mentioned how one of his clients said he was suffering from PTSD due to living in the ‘hood and was, therefore, unable to work."-

{side eye} Oh, that's...special. Meanwhile, legions of exhausted BW (that I'm sure are all around this guy) stand at bus stops, walk to train stations, and run themselves ragged trying to support themselves and their children.

Although, I wonder if the women who are laying around watching the soaps all day on public aid are equally subjected to PTSD? Now, that's a question for the truly curious. Well, as the economy continues to tank and budgets for public aid dwindle, we'll probably find out the answers to all these sorts of questions. Hmmph.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Southland Diva said...

Hello Khadija,

I believe we have entered a time the 'big sort' or even a 'grand awakening'. The potential is there for us to change the paradigm. A chance for those who percieve that dead ideas are just that, dead ideas which no longer serve us.

Each person has to start clearing the path for the new. Letting go of the past is a choice we must make if we are going to live in the present. Letting go does not mean loss, it mean opportunity!