March 21, 2007

My Latest

I've been writing letters lately when I'm annoyed or well, just whenever. This is the latest that I sent in response to the author of this article in the Chron: Robbers Relish iPod Craze.

As a side note, I just walked home down Franklin St. for the first time since early August. It was fine, though I did keep my iPod turned off and hidden, and I did walk down the other side of the street and felt the need to be hyper aware of my surroundings. But, still, I did it and it was just fine.

To: John Coté:
Subject: Ipod Robbery in re Michael Rodriguez etc

Dear John:

I write to you not just because my iPod was stolen, though I was mugged last August on Franklin Street in bright daylight during rush hour while using black after-market headphones and carrying my iPod concealed in a pocket (I'd been followed). But because I was concerned to read about 15 year old Michael Rodriquez who is still too afraid to open an iPod he got for Christmas.

The man who mugged me cut my throat, so I understand Michael's fear. In the months following my encounter I spent many hours researching stress response and PTSD. I also took advantage of the State's Victim Services and Compensation Programs, which provide reimbursement for medical expenses including counseling. I would guess that Michael's experience may not have qualified as a "violent crime" making him ineligible for the program, but that does not mean the post traumatic stress he is suffering isn't very real and very important to treat. That a 15 year old should continue to feel so traumatized that he cannot even take a new iPod out of the box months later (it took me a week to open the box of the iPod my friends gave me after mine was stolen and another 2 weeks to begin using it) is heart wrenching for me.

I encourage you to take this as a jumping off point to write an article to follow on PTSD and the problems that people like Michael face. It is certainly important to raise peoples' awareness to the possibility of iPod theft, but we all know that nice, expensive toys are often stolen. It seems to me that a more important story is what happens to some victims after the fact. The effects of PSTD are insidious and can harm relationships, school, and work. You don't need to have your throat cut to suffer them either.

I consider myself recovered and carry my new iPod with me every day (though I now conceal it in an interior coat pocket and use only one earbud). I still feel the effects of PTSD on occasion, and probably will for a long time. I hope you'll consider following up on your story.

Thanks for your attention,

Posted by allison at March 21, 2007 02:44 PM