Netflix’s On My Block is about a group of teenagers who grow up in inner-city Freeridge. In the last season, the characters of teen couple Ruby and Olivia get shot during a Quinceanera party with Ruby being the only survivor. Season two of On My Block shows the horrible effects of PTSD as well as the message of moving forward.
Going Through Trauma
The National Center for PTSD lists the symptoms of trauma as experiencing nightmares and flashbacks of the event. You want to do what you can to avoid any reminders of what you have been through. PTSD can also lead you to change the way you look at faith and have trouble getting out of bed. A 2012 study of the Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law says that there are high rates of PTSD in impoverished, high-risk urban populations in U.S. inner cities just like with war veterans who have experienced violence or an unexpected death.
Ruby’s Struggle with PTSD
We see that at the start of the season, Ruby is trying his hardest to appreciate that he was given a second chance at the start of the new year and that he wants to live. It is not until the ball drops and Ruby hears the sounds of fireworks go off that it brings me back to the shooting where not only he was shot, but the girl he was infatuated with last season who died. He breaks down crying in front of his friends and they are all there to console him as he grieves towards Olivia’s picture. Ruby confides in a friend that he cannot stop thinking about whether or not he should have done something different that traumatic day. Ruby also does not want to go to church anymore as it is hard for him to believe in a Higher Power after what he went through. There is also another episode where Ruby has another breakdown during a school dance where the same song when Ruby and Olivia got shot plays. Despite the sadness, we still see Ruby try to be himself as he enters a dance competition, organizes parties, and tries to be there for his friends whenever he can. Seeing Ruby’s struggle shows that it is okay not to be okay and how important it is to have your friends catch you if you feel like falling.
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