Violated.

A few weeks ago, a man broke into my home. While I was sleeping. And I had no idea.

Now, I was fortunate in that none of my stuff was taken and (most importantly) I was not harmed. Not the case for my roommate, whose room he entered while she was thankfully not at home, who lost some personal belongings. Or for my friends, in another unit within the same complex, who he visited the very next day. Or another neighbor, who was visited last week.

Once I realized what happened, I just felt sick. I put on a brave face and joked while law enforcement was investigating, but sleeping did not come easy for me anymore. A hammer was placed next to my shower; a drill by my bed. (just. in. case.) Returning home would involve laps around the building to ensure all windows were closed and no suspicious persons were about.

Since then, I’ve called the police twice. Once because I heard a loud noise and a car stalling outside my window at 4am. The other because I saw someone who didn’t belong (and 45 minutes later a house down the street was broken into and a man, later confirmed to be the same who had hit up my building, was arrested).

I just feel sick that someone, a stranger, could take my sense of security from me. Not that I was careless before–I have always been quite cautious. But not being able to feel secure in the daytime?!  What. an. asshole.

But you know what? I’m not going to let it get me down. I keep referring to the Whos in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Here they were, their Christmas ruined by this asshole who crept into their homes and stole their cheer. And how did they respond? Not by hiding or lashing out but by banding together and singing with holiday cheer. That’s the way I wanted to be.

So, other than locking my bedroom door at night and not leaving my windows open–even a crack–if I’m not home, I’m not going to let the burglars win. I’m just going to keep smiling and living my life MY WAY. Does this make me stupid? No. Burglaries/crime can happen anywhere. Be aware of your surrounding and be cautious, but don’t lose your liberty and security because of fear.

(But I have programmed the non-emergency police line into my phone. Just in case. :))

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