It was a normal day in January. Woke up at 7 a.m., drank my coffee and went to work. I got there, greeted my manager and started just another day.
At 2 p.m., my shift ended and it was finally time for me to go home. The usual traffic plagued the 405 freeway but I finally made it out as I arrived, parked my car, picked up my uniform, and headed for the front door of my house.
I turned my keys to open the door but as I looked inside something was off. Walking in, I thought my parents had forgotten to close the kitchen cabinets. That is when I began to notice things weren’t the same as when I had left.
The kitchen window was completely broken with shattered glass all over the floor and the blinds broken and bent.
As I began to walk through my house, my heart stopped. I saw all my family’s clothes and belongings on the floor. My mother’s jewelry box that my grandmother gave her was emptied.
Many of my belongings were missing—even my small silver cross from my baptism from when I was a baby.
I was overcome with pure discomfort.
Over the next few day I was flooded with thoughts like, “I shouldn’t leave my house, what if they come back,” or, “I should have been here, I shouldn’t have gone to work.”
My usual motto was to keep things to myself and not bother others. Due to this, I thought to myself that I shouldn’t say anything because I didn’t want to bother anyone. However, after this experience, I noticed that it is always better to open up to someone rather than keeping it inside, even if it’s just a friend.
At first, I tried to keep my fears inside, trying not to show that I was scared because I didn’t want to worry anyone. However, the more I kept those feelings inside, the more that it began to break me down.
The place you’re supposed to feel the safest from the world is no longer that due to a single break-in.
It wasn’t until my dad told me that it was OK to let it out and that it was normal to be afraid or scared, especially after something like this had happened.
It has been a full year since the break-in happened and I still feel the effects to this day.
Every time I’m going to open my front door, my first thought was always, “Will I see glass shattered on the marble floor under the kitchen window again?”
“Will I see all my clothes, my games, and my belongings on the ground when I enter my room?”
These thoughts still come to me every day when I get home from school and work, however not as much as before.
One of the many things that have helped me calm my nerves was just talking to someone about what had happened, whether it be a friend, family member, or a therapist.
I talked to a friend of mine who had gone through the same experience as I had. However if I could change one thing from that time I would have talked to a therapist, even if it was for one or two sessions.
A fear that I started to have after the break-in was the fear of finding the window broken again, or the door would be broken into instead. I didn’t want to go to my own house because of this.
When I opened the door I was always in the moment. The second I turned the cold metal doorknob, I scanned the room to see if everything was in place, and I was intentional about it.
Little by little I began to see that nothing was going to change, and my fear of seeing my house broken into just disappeared. I was able to open the doors of my house the same way I used to.
Little by little I began to realize that while the break-in did happen, it couldn’t stop me from living my life. In the end, life doesn’t stop for anything.
I no longer really have a fear of leaving my house, however, the thought of someone breaking into my house still crosses my mind occasionally.
My family now has security cameras installed throughout the house and installed metal bars on all the windows. Taking these measures, has made it easier to sleep at night.