Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Post in Which I Breakdown

I am putting off posting today's scheduled post until tomorrow. I need to get something off my chest. Writing has always been an outlet for me, one that I find therapeutic to a degree. I thought about not sharing this publicly, but I have decided to anyway.

Have you ever been scared for your life? I was yesterday. It was bad enough coming home last month and finding the front door of my home kicked open, my house invaded and my property stolen. Neither my husband nor I had been home, and the animals, who were, were unharmed. My sense of safety and security was shaken. It put me in a state of hyper-vigilance for a while, but I was finally beginning to feel somewhat normal again, at least as normal as one can after an experience like that. It's impossible to ever really feel completely safe again. But I was healing.

Yesterday I was home alone, watching 21 Jump Street via Netflix on my computer, when there was a knock at the door. I don't like to answer the door when I am not expecting someone, and so I ignored it. There were no cars outside to alert me to who it might be. The door bell rang. The knocking continued. I finally went to the door and called out, "Who is it?" The person on the other side of the door knocked and rang the door bell again. I demanded to know who it was. I was met with silence. It appeared the person had left. I moved to where I had a view of the window and saw a man approach the front door at a fair clip. Then I heard a sound no one ever wants to hear.

The man was trying to kick my door in. And it was a pretty powerful kick that cracked the door frame. When the knocking initially began, I had thought to pick up the phone and have it in hand. Call it instinct. And so when the man kicked at the door, I immediately yelled, "I'm calling 911!" He fled as I dialed the phone. I don't know if there was more than one person. I only saw the one.

All I can think about is had I opened the door when the knocking began, I might have been hurt and something might have happened to the baby. Obviously, the sound of my voice through the door wasn't enough to deter anyone from trying to enter my home. At least not until I threatened to call 911 (emergency). I have never been so scared in my life.

The 911 dispatcher kept me on the phone until I calmed down some and it appeared the bad man was not coming back. I heard the helicopter searching above. The police did finally arrive and took my statement. I provided a vague description of the man I saw through the window, wishing I'd had better insight to remember the little details. When my husband came home from work shortly after (I had texted him and told him what had happened), I couldn't stop crying.

Four weeks to the day when our house was burglarized someone again tried to break into my house. I feel as if I have "easy target" written on my forehead. To say I am angry and upset is an understatement. My husband and I are already feeling overwhelmed and then to have to go through this as well . . .

Right now I want nothing more than to get out of this house, to move far away. Unfortunately that isn't possible. Not yet anyway. At least it is on the horizon. It's some sort of hope to hold onto amidst all the fears swirling around in my head right now. It's better then wondering what type of world I'm bringing a child into. And when the next break in will be, and if next time someone will get hurt.


© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

65 comments:

  1. That was such a scary experience, Wendy! I'm so glad that you weren't hurt! {Hugs}

    I hope you've an alarm installed so as to discourage any bad people from breaking into the house. Still, be careful and let's hope the new house will be ready soon.

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  2. OMG, that is too scary Wendy! I'm so glad you and your baby wasn't hurt. I worry about you now. Please installed alarm or something. This happen twice, so surely the cop would do something about it this time? I'll say prayers for you each days until it time for you to move out of that house.

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  3. I'm so glad you're okay, Wendy, but so sorry you had to go through such a frightening experience :( Sending hugs and warm thoughts you way.

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  4. OMG...Wendy, so scary. I am so happy that you had not opened the door. Take care...happier times are coming.

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  5. Wendy, I saw your twitter last night and wondered what could have happened. That is beyond scary, and I am so so so glad that you didn't open the door initially. I can't imagine how unsettled you must feel considering that I feel unsettled after just reading this. I hope the police figure out who this was. I know an alarm system is expensive, what are you thinking you'll do?

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  6. Wendy, I am glad that you are unharmed. But it was a scary experience. Two times is really horrible. You be very careful. Do get an alarm installed.

    Sending you hugs...

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  7. Huge hugs, Wendy, you have had a very traumatising experience and it will take a while for you to work through it. I've been burgled in the past whilst I was asleep in bed, thankfully only waking up when they left but it does shake you up. Might I suggest a peephole in the door, some kind of alarm system (most perps are put off by these) and/or a visible CCTV camera - not sure what kind of house you live in but this did deter former neighbours of ours from throwing eggs/stones at our patio doors - yes, there are some horrible people out there but they are most definitely in the minority, take care. xx

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  8. Thank goodness you are safe and unharmed. How frightening. You are in my thoughts.

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  9. What the hell!@? At this point, I'd be scared of my own shadow I think. We live on a private drive with no close neighbors, so I almost never answer the door if my husband isn't home. Florida is horrible for crime. I think when you guys do move, you need to find a place with a gated entry or a security guard or something. In the meantime, you should maybe invest in a "Beware of dog" sign, or a security company sign or something. I'm so glad you are OK!

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  10. I'm so sorry about the terrors you suffered and are probably still enduring. I think you were so very brave, and that you handled it in just the right way. You knew to confront him, you knew to call 911, you succeeded in driving him away. Still, it would be a terribly frightening experience. So good that your husband came home right away (I always think of the single women who don't have that comfort in times like these!) and that you are all safe physically. I pray protection over your household and spirit.

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  11. Oh Wendy, I can only imagine how scared you must have been and how unsettled you are now. So glad you and your family were unharmed. You handled it in exactly the right way, and your behaviour will likely deter the same person from doing it again. Thinking of you. x

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  12. Oh how scary! I am so so glad you are moving and that no one got hurt!

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  13. Oh my God, Wendy! That must have been so horrible for you, and I can't imagine how scared you must be feeling right now. Is there any way you can get the police to do a drive through the area during the day when you are home alone? I can't imagine what you are going through, but I will be praying for you. You certainly don't need this with everything else that's going on!

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  14. Wendy, this is absolutely horrible - I am so sorry that you are going through this! I think a German Shepherd or similar dog that is well-trained will be a great addition. Sometimes a dog's bark is enough to scare off any one who is thinking about coming into the house. If you can, definitely get that alarm system, too! I live in Florida, and as Sandy said, the crime here is just terrible, so I'm always nervous about it. And as Bellezza pointed out, you did a fabulous job in contacting the police, giving a description, and the most important thing - not opening the door. I'm like you - I never open the door if I'm not expecting anyone.

    Please let us know if there is anything that you need!

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  15. That must have been horrible! I know you must have been so scared, but you were so brave and smart not to open the door. You should be proud of how well you handled the situation! A BIG HUG to you!

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  16. Wow. I would be a mess in your shoes. Last summer we had a rash of daylight robberies in my neighborhood. Many of our neighbors suffered break-ins. We did not. The only thing we can think of is that we have two dogs who bark a lot when someone is close to the house. Both are very friendly, non-threatening dogs, but you can't tell that if you just hear their barks.

    Alarm systems did not help the neighbors much.

    And I hope this never happens to you again.

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  17. So glad to hear that you are unhurt, it must have been terrible. A peep hole sounds like a good idea- at least you would know who it is straight away then.
    Will be thinking of you and praying that things work out OK.

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  18. Wendy, my thoughts are with you & I hope you, your husband & animals stay safe. Know that you did all the right things & have good instincts to protect yourself. You will make a wonderful mom :)

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  19. Oh my gosh!! Wendy I feel so bad for you! I hate to hear this! It is bad enough to have had it happen once, but twice, and with you home?? My god I am so glad you did not open the door.
    It sounds like the same person, perhaps he missed something. I have heard of this happening. Buglers come back for more, or figure the homeowner now has new stuff.
    I had a Rottweiler when it was just Alex and I. Now that he is gone I figured I did not need a dog, but now I wonder...
    Big hugs to you. I too will be glad when you have moved.

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  20. Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry about this. Such a nerve wracking experience, but you seem to have handled it just right. Good thinking to yell about 911. It's a tough thing to decide whether to open the door to an unknown caller. I have a way to look at my front stoop from the landing of the stairs. I have often not opened the door, but I don't think I've factored in someone kicking the door in.

    I'm keeping you guys in my prayers - I was anyway for the baby - but now seriously. Better times are coming. Deep breaths. Hugs all around!

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  21. Wendy, I am so, so sorry. I have tears in my eyes just reading about what you went through - I can only imagine the terror you felt - and are still feeling. I am so glad you get to move soon - I will pray that it happens very, very quickly - and for peace in the meantime. And for protection as well. (Hugs)

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  22. Oh you poor thing! Can you afford to feed a big dog? Most would-be burglars think twice about breaking into a place with one. You try to be as safe as you can ok?

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  23. Not feeling safe within your own home has got to be one of the worst feelings to experience. Thank goodness he left when he did but I'm sure the "what ifs" are driving you mad right now.

    Do you have another way to get out of the house? An escape plan, if you will? This will probably not happen again and might not even be related to the first incident, but knowing that you have a way out can be very comforting.

    A big dog would be comforting too as well as a very large gun! I feel for you. Thank you for sharing this with us. Your safety is the #1 thing to consider right now.

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  24. That is so scary! I'm so thankful you were smart enough not to answer the door. Stay safe!!

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  25. Oh Wendy, I am so sorry about this for you. I can't even imagine how frightening this must have been for you. I was so frightened just reading about it. I literally felt my chest get tight. I would ask your local police department for some tips that might help you make your place safer. I would say to get a barking dog CD or something that you could start playing so someone thinks a big dog lives in your house. I'm sure there are other things you might do as well. I will keep you in my prayers and hope you will find a solution. You were so smart to not answer your door. I don't answer my door for anyone unless I know them!

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  26. Oh my stars Wendy! My heart is pounding for the terror you must have felt! I can't believe you have had to go through such a close call after the earlier burglary. Thank goodness you were thinking, grabbed your phone, and told the jerk you were calling 911! I do wish the search helicopter had found him though, for your peace of mind. I'm going to go out and hug my big dog now. He's as mild mannered as a sleeping kitten, but he does have a deep, loud bark that says "I'm a very big dog who doesn't like strangers." I am glad you are going to be moving soon!

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  27. How totally freaky and weird! That is so bizarre and awful. Like Lori, I'm scared too just from reading your post! Do you have someone else's house where you can stay?

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  28. OMG Wendy, I want you out of that house too! I hate that you have to stay there as I worry about you and now this. Thank God you did not open that door. Is there anyone you could stay with? I would have been terrified too Wendy. That's a terrifying situation to be in. Please take care of yourself. You sure don't need this added stress on you and the baby. Hugs my friend.

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  29. Oh, no, Wendy! First off, I'm glad you're unharmed, and I think you handled the situation with great presence of mind - more than I would have! I hope you're getting that door frame fixed today.

    I'd want to be out of that neighborhood as soon as possible too - fingers crossed that your move comes together quickly! (Move out my way - Ventura County has a couple of America's safest small cities.)
    Do take care, and know that we're all sending good thoughts your way!

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  30. What a scary thing to happen to you! I'm so...so sorry this happened and wish there was something I could do. Fingers crossed you'll feel (and be!) a lot more safe in your new house.

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  31. Not good! Have there been other reports from your neighbors? It's weird that your house is targeted so many times - but I pray that they stop! *hugs* Not a good thing when you don't fee safe in your own house anymore! I hope that you figure something out that will be best for you and your family!

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  32. This is awful news. You don't deserve this, and I'm sorry it happened to you.

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  33. I am so sorry this happened to you, Wendy. I am glad you are okay! I hope you find a new house soon and a very good security system!

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  34. Oh my gosh...how scary for you! I'm glad you're safe!!

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  35. Wendy...I'm sincerely at a loss because what can I say that would convey my thoughts to you in the right way???? I'm scared for you....and I'm so deeply sorry that you had to experience this invasion of your safety yet once again!! I'm counting down the days for when you move!!

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  36. Oh my goodness Wendy, I'm so sorry to hear this. It is just so scary! I'm sending you a lot of hugs. I wish you could move sooner so you could find some peace of mind. Stay strong Wendy and know that we are all here thinking of you!

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  37. OMG, Wendy - this is a terrible story. Of course you are traumatized and frightened (I know that feeling of "what if" and it is not a good feeling at all). I hope you will be able to move soon and have some peace and feeling of safety. Is there anyway the police could do some drive bys to be checking for these criminals? *big hugs*, my friend.

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  38. Oh, Wendy, that is terrifying! I think I would be sobbing and shaking, too, if I were you. My God. Trying to kick in your door?! While you were in the house?! I am glad you have good locks. And I hope when you move, you move somewhere VERY safe.

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  39. That sounds terrifying. I'm so glad you are ok.

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  40. This is just awful, but kudos to you for keeping your head and calling the cops! Even if you broke down later, you did the bravest thing possible in your situation. You are a very strong lady!

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  41. Oh Wendy, this is terribly frightening. I don't know what else to say, except I wish and hope and pray that they don't come back, and you get out of there as soon as you can. You are very brave, and you did the right thing, but oh, you don't need this now!

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  42. Oh my stars....you are one brave chica!! You kept your head and wits about you when all was so scary. Wishing you strength, calm and above all safety and peace.

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  43. Wendy, how horrifying for you. I am so sorry you have to go through this. Have you and your husband thought about having a home security system installed. They will normally install it for free if you sign a monthly monitoring agreement. The monthly fee we pay is $25.00. You can have it on when your in the house as well as away. There is also a panic button that will call 911. They also give you signs to post, warning people that you have monitored security.

    We live in a safe neighborhood but I am still glad we have it. We had a neighbor who was broken into, the only townhouse who didn't have a security system.

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  44. That was crazy that someone tried to break in again, wonder if it was the same guy? Maybe they thought you had replaced stuff and came back. Has your neighbors been targeted too?
    So glad you didn't answer the door! He was definitely up to no good! It would be nice if you had a gun in case they actually got in before police arrive.
    Great thinking to have the phone in hand and call 911 so quickly!

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  45. Oh Wendy, I am so sorry to hear this. How terribly scary. I'm glad you are OK and hope you will soon be somewhere that you can feel safe. Hug.

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  46. Wendy, this just breaks my heart to hear. I'm so glad that you are safe but I'm so sorry that you had to go through such a terrifying experience. I know that it will be a relief when you finally move. Be safe, and you will be in my prayers!

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  47. How terrifying!!! I'm so sorry you had to go through all this trauma ... and at such a special time in your life. I'm glad you were cautious already so nothing more happened.

    And I always thought my husband was paranoid when he insisted that I don't open the door when we're not expecting anyone but now I'll take that advice to heart.

    Be well and I hope you can move soon.

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  48. Okay, your police department is starting to seriously piss me off. "The police finally did arrive..." How long did it take them? If it was more than a few minutes, I'd be seriously unhappy with them. Not that I want to criticize police, since I'm in that field myself, but an attempted B&E of an occupied residence? Especially one that has been broken into recently? What could possible have a higher priority??

    So...

    Suggestion time, a couple of which you may not like, none of which you need to pay any attention to...

    Upgrade to a bigger dog that barks. Seriously. Barking dogs have been proven to scare people away, even if they're little barkers. Personally, I like the protection of a big barking dog.

    Invest in a weapon. Seriously. Either check out pepper spray or something more substantial.

    Alarms are of limited value, unless you have a private security agency that will respond instead of relying on the police to respond. I'm not saying you shouldn't get one, I'm just saying they have limited value.

    Finally, if it took the cops an unreasonable amount of time to arrive, complain.

    cjh

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  49. How awful. I am glad you ok. I can only imagine how terrified you must have been. AT least you get to move soonish. This is one less stress you needed. Grrr makes me made that the crook was so brazen.

    At least you and your family are safe.

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  50. oh my god, I'm just reading this now! Wendy, I'm so sorry! That is SO SCARY!! I am so glad that neither any of the humans nor the animals were hurt - and so PROUD of you for your smart instincts!!!

    We have an alarm that is LOUD and goes directly to the police (but it's so loud that whne we've accidentally set it off, the neighbors come by to look). We also have motion-sensitive lights (help at night and weve gotten thanks from neighbors - it makes them safer too.) Don't know if either of these would work for you. Also - I hope/assume you have a strong door and secure windows?

    i hope this never happens again.

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  51. Thank you everyone for your insightful comments, suggestions and support. It could have been so much worse in a lot of ways--and for that I'm lucky. It doesn't take away the fear I felt then and still contend with now, but it helps me cope better when I look at the positive. My doctor helped me remember that when I shared what happened with her at my prenatal appointment yesterday.

    Evidently hitting a house twice is not as uncommon as I had thought. It's actually become quite popular--give the victims enough time to replace the items stolen and hit them again. I'm sure our burglar would be surprised to know we haven't replaced much at all. We figured it'd be better to wait until after the move.

    Again, thank you so much for your comments. It means a lot to me and I appreciate your concern and support. It's been difficult and no doubt will continue to be so, but I'll soldier on. There's too much good going on in my life right now to let this completely pull me down.

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  52. I'm so glad you're not hurt, Wendy. That was a nightmare and very scary. I'm sorry I wasn't here earlier to read about this. I'm sending lots of prayer your way and will continue to pray for you until you have safely moved to a better house.

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  53. Wow. My heart goes out to you, Wendy. Thank goodness you didn't freeze and were able to make a wise decision.

    That's very interesting regarding the second break-ins theory.

    Good things are coming your way! Hang in there.

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  54. Oh Wendy - how utterly terrifying! I'm so glad you weren't hurt and that you had the instinct to pick up the phone. To have your sense of safety shattered like that is so hard to move past. Sending good thoughts your way and lots of virtual hugs.

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  55. Thank goodness he was unable to break down the door. I can't imagine how scary that was. I am sending strengthening thoughts your way.

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  56. Wendy - I have been out of circulation for a while and just started reading through my blogs again. I am so, so sorry that you had to deal with such a scary, senseless ordeal at this very special time in your life. You did everything right and did an amazing job of holding it together in the midst of a terrifying crisis.

    While I know that this is not something that one gets over quickly - if ever - I hope that you have had a chance to relax and find some sense of peace for the sake of your health and the development of that sweet, sweet baby.

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  57. I'm just catching up with my blog reading and couldn't believe it when I saw this post! I'm so sorry that this happened to you! It really is like lightening striking twice. You were (and are) so brave!

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  58. We always assume that most people breaking into houses don't want confrontation and try to get in and out while no one is home or while they're sleeping. But for this guy to know you're home and still be trying to get in? I can't imagine how terrified you were. I'm betting it was the same guy that broke in before. He came back after he knew you'd had time to replace all of the things he took the first time. This time he knew exactly what would be in the house, where you keep things and that everything would be new. I hope the police have offered to make more frequent passes by your home and that you're able to get out of there soon.

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  59. I'm so very sorry this happened to you, Wendy. It's terrifying. I'm very impressed by your calm, level-headedness at the time and your thought to yell out that you were calling 911.

    I'm sure in your new home you'll put in an alarm system and take whatever precautions you can. A lot of burglars avoid houses from which they hear dogs barking, big, deep sounds.

    I'm glad you wrote about what happened. I'm thinking about you.

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  60. Wendy, I got chills just reading this. I am so glad that you (and the baby) are okay! You guys need to get out of that house. It must have bad karma.
    It's funny you mention the phone. Whenever I answer the door when I;m home alone- even workers I'm expecting- I always have the phone in my hand. I figure it at least makes them think twice.

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  61. Oh, Wendy, thank the Lord you did NOT open that door. I'm praying for your family's safety during this time!

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  62. Oh my! Reading this made me scared. I am so glad that you both are okay, and I hope you get a new home soon!

    When I'm home alone and someone knocks on the door, I've gone upstairs, opened the window, and called down to the person. I'm not taking any chances.

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