I was once in a home that was burglarized.
They came in through the basement. When they tried to open the door into the first floor living space, they were forced to make a lot of noise to break the .29 eye hook used to keep a 60 year old solid wood door in place.
That’s when I woke up.
Earlier this week, I was sound asleep when I awoke to a noise.
The sensation of noise unfamiliar in the dead of night sent my brain straight back to that other early morning. On that day, someone with a gun forced their way inside our home to take things that we had worked hard to acquire.
This week was far less traumatizing but there was cause for alarm for a moment while I thought it through and investigated.
After I woke up, it was quiet again and I couldn’t decide if there was someone in the house who was just being quiet after making some racket or if something had simply fallen.
After that other burglary years ago, I developed an emergency plan of sorts – what I would do if it happened again and ways to prevent it from happening. So I mentally reviewed my plan and readied myself.
Scout heard it too and was on high alert for a minute, listening carefully with his tail all puffed up. When he relaxed, I relaxed. Since he can hear a food package being opened from a deep sleep three rooms away, I was pretty sure he would know if someone who didn’t belong was in his house.
That’s only sort of a joke. Seriously, the hearing on this cat is insane and he’s so territorial he growls like a little dog when someone comes to the door.
He’s pictured here, napping later in the day. A boy needs his beauty sleep.
Luckily, action was not required on this night but it was a good exercise, even if it did mean lost sleep for the rest of the night.
A safety drill is always a good idea.
The burglary I mentioned was at an old boyfriend’s house, not my own, although I pretty much lived there. They got a couple of valuable electronics before fleeing the scene but they also robbed us of our sense of security, that sense of safety in your own home.
The fact that I rarely fall asleep without thinking about it has long been an annoyance. The fact I was somewhat prepared if it had been a burglar this week was somewhat reassuring.
It is these experiences, the good and bad, that shape who we are. Some memories, while distant, can rush back at a moment’s notice to inform how we react to present circumstances.
I suspect that someone else’s decision to break into a stranger’s home, my home, has scarred me for life. However, if those scars will keep me safe someday then so be it.
If you haven’t done so, I suggest that you consider what you would do in the event of a home invasion. You probably have smoke detectors and know how to react in a fire or tornado. Get a plan and alarms together for this too. It will be too late if you wait until it happens.
In case you’re wondering, the noise was a picture that fell off a shelf and knocked a metal toy truck to the floor. I had just placed it on the shelf a few days before and it evidently wasn’t secure.