Sunday, November 10, 2013

Robbed


Everyone always says it's not really about what you lost, but about the violation of your private space, your home. But I didn't really understand what they meant until our house was broken into. Someone threw a rock through the Hobbit Hole's windows on the front door, which crashed into the open bathroom door and then bounced on the ground (and was still there when we arrived on the scene). There are pictures of us and people we love on the fridge, and they had to pass those pictures to get to the stairwell, where they ripped down our coat rack and threw all our coats on the floor, and I wonder how they walked past those pictures and thought, “Oh, that's all right, I'll throw around these people's stuff anyway.” The first thing I felt as I tried to make sense of why anyone would have robbed us was that they must have lost all sense of empathy.

We view break-ins on TV and movies so much that we become numb to them. For the people in the shows, they're a way to make a desperate living, or a necessity on the path to greatness. But when it's your home that is violated, suddenly you wonder what desensitized another human being to the extent where they found it perfectly acceptable to hurl a rock into your sacred space and dash your delusions of safety.

Aaron and I arrived home, looking forward to our date night. We'd planned to mull wine and play Dominion, and Aaron had brought me surprise ice cream from the dairy bar. All our plans were overturned when we saw the shattered glass. It was shocking to realize that for however long, our personal lives had been laid open to the elements.

Luckily the burglar was no longer present, so we called the police, landlord, and neighbors (the burglar was thwarted from robbing them by the deadbolts on the door to the upstairs), and then went back up to the car to wait for the policeman. After walking through the wreckage with him and giving a statement, we headed off for our first Home Depot trip on the East Coast, to pick up nails, a hammer, and a board to nail up over broken door. It was a surreal night. We ate at Wendy's, a place that I probably haven't eaten at for six or seven years, and then we came home and cleaned up. I cried as I started cleaning up, and Aaron was wonderful and took over and told me to go call my parents. Then we needed to relax, and so we didn't watch James Franco's adaptation of As I Lay Dying as planned; instead, Aaron played Rome: Total War, which he hasn't had time to play in months, and I played Sudoku and finished A Feast for Crows. I have never been so grateful for ice cream before.

Our landlord is awesome; by the next morning, our handyman had arrived to outfit a new door, minus the windows, that fits snugly, so it will be perfect for winter as well.

In the aftermath, I feel the need to fill our home space with positivity, to reclaim some of the goodness that was lost when the rock came smashing through our door. I have been a little more conscious to make every action into a prayer. I cleaned the bathroom today, and found more glass, and focused on making our space sacred again. Kneading bread was a prayer, doing yoga in our living room was a prayer, talking and debriefing with friends and family was a prayer. They were prayers for the innocence I had lost, prayers that Aaron and I would heal from the material and spiritual losses and hopefully prayers for the person who did this, that they would be healed from whatever is driving them to commit these actions. Being robbed has made these everyday actions more intentional for me, as I have thought about saturating our space with integrity.

I believe that good can come out of everything, even if the only good is that we will have greater empathy for others who are robbed. As we walk the journey of growing up, all these experiences make us into stronger people. And I know it may sound trite, but I really mean that.

These words don't mean that we won't jump at loud sounds in the middle of the night, or live without fear of intrusion. And while I am not grateful for the loss of the stolen items, I am grateful for all the love Aaron and our family and friends showed me through the experience.

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