For weeks, I was having trouble sleeping, sure that someone was breaking into my house as I lay in bed.
(Sorry, this one's not about Valentine's Day.)
I would lay in my bed, confident only in the bark of my dog, who is more on edge than me, and my husband's two black belts while every creak of the house settling or thump of the furnace kicking on or car door slamming outside would scream to my mind that WE ARE IN IMMINENT DANGER.
I'm not sure what changed suddenly or why I got so scared, but every night for the past three or four weeks was like this. I told Bryan about it, and I even considered blogging about it. I spent every night praying desperately for God to protect me and Bryan and Yasmine.
On Tuesday night last week, I was walking to my car in the dark after a late night in the studio before a deadline. I pulled out my phone to see a voice mail from Bryan. My phone has this thing that transcribes voice mail messages into text messages, so I pulled up the text.
He was telling me to come home because we had been robbed.
My stomach rolled as I prayed the message was just mis-transcribed. But I called him back, and it turns out, voice mail transcription is startlingly accurate.
Apparently, someone kicked through our front door. There were other, easier ways they could have gotten in, but they kicked through the lock, splintering the door frame.
They took our computer, our Wii, Bryan's camera, and an iPod. They pulled out all of our drawers, throwing our stuff around the room, apparently looking for valuables. They went through every room of the house, pulling out every drawer and throwing around furniture.
Yasmine was in her kennel. They left her alone. For that, I thank them.
They ran out the back door, leaving it open as they escaped.
Bryan came home first, for which I am immensely grateful. I can't imagine the terror I would have felt if I had been the first one home, alone, in the dark. He called the police, who investigated our entire house. They dusted for fingerprints in every place it was obvious that the thieves had touched. They found footprints in the snow that had just fallen that day. They took pictures of everything. They questioned the neighbors, who saw a blue and tan Ford Expedition outside our house and people walking around our house.
I don't believe in ESP or psychic abilities or any of that nonsense. I wasn't warned about this, and there's no way I could have known it was going to happen. What I felt, though, was sheer horror that what I had feared had happened.
When you're the victim of a crime, you lose a lot of comfort and security that you once had. My house wasn't any sort of fortress, but I felt safe there. But these thieves were able to break into it seemingly without much trouble. I think it's the same feeling you get from losing a job, or being betrayed by someone close. You realize that there are no fortresses in life. There is nowhere you can go to be 100% safe and secure.
When the police were investigating, we weren't allowed to touch anything. It's really bizarre to experience your house as a crime scene. Even now, when the police are gone, and we've been able to clean up the mess and pick up the pieces a bit, it doesn't feel like my house anymore. It's not the comfortable, warm, inviting place it used to be. It's just a shell that holds the remainder of our stuff. It's like my house has been raped.
As far as being burglarized goes, it went about as good as it could go. We weren't home, no one was hurt, we have insurance, and nothing was taken that can't be replaced, aside from my false sense of security.
Bryan said that I handled this better than he did. I think in the moment, that may have been true, and it's only because he was there first and I knew I could rely on him to take care of everything. When I tell this story to people, it barely seems real. I know all the facts about what happened and I can relay them to whoever wants to listen like it's no big deal.
It's at night that the fear I had before has completely exploded inside my mind. I'm constantly worrying when Bryan and I go out together at night. It's nearly impossible to fall asleep immediately, no matter how tired I am. Every sound I hear tells me someone is breaking in, no matter how much our security has now been amped up.