Bad News From Home…

If you read, watch TV, or go to the movies, then at some point you’ve heard a horror story about someone, usually a woman, having been roofied – violated without their consent, or even knowledge, and only learning about it much later when the annoying little clues just pile up to the point they can no longer be ignored. Well I’ve just discovered that something uncomfortably similar to that has happened to me.

Now before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion, let me just say that I have not been raped and in no way do I mean to compare what’s happened to me to a woman having been raped. Nevertheless, what has happened has left me feeling more exposed and vulnerable than I have felt since I escaped my old life in the “hood” over four years ago.

I have to admit that this whole thing is also quite embarrassing and I’m extremely uncomfortable even writing about it. But my writing is about the only therapeutic outlet I have these days so, if you’ll allow me a little “lead up” to help explain how such a thing could even happen at all, I will continue – as I need so very much to do.

Okay, so I’ve talked about my isolated lifestyle many, many times on this blog. I’ve described how, with exceptions only for my weekly trips to the grocery store and to take out the trash, I almost never leave my apartment. What I’ve never said is that, out of the 99% of my life spent in my apartment, 99% of that time is spent in my bedroom, where both my TV and my PC are. Beyond preparing my food, washing my clothing. and using the toilet facilities, I hardly use the rest of my two bedroom apartment at all.

Perhaps my first clue should have been the cricket that’s been making a racket somewhere downstairs for the last two or three nights. Perhaps I should have thought more about the fly I swatted on my monitor last night. After all, these things can’t just crawl or fly through closed and locked doors and windows. And alarms should have most definitely gone off in my head when I finally noticed this afternoon that my back door was slightly ajar.

But they did not. I am, after all, a very absent minded kind of guy who’s always got way too much on his mind. So, while it was disturbing to think that I’d actually left the door open and unlocked for God knows how many days since I last took the trash out, it certainly wasn’t inconceivable that I had done so. But when it got hot enough for me to turn on the A/C again, after two days with temperatures low enough to do without it, I had to raise my shades enough to close my window – and discover the big, almost perfectly square flap cut into the screen of the window beside that mysteriously open back door.

Someone had actually broken into my apartment while I was in it, most likely while I was asleep in my bed, and I’ll probably never even know exactly when it happened…

If there is anything like a “silver lining” in all of this, it’s my imagining the surprise my would-be burglar (or burglars) got when they realized that there was absolutely nothing in my apartment to justify taking the big risk they took by breaking in. The things of most value to me, my TV, my PC and my books, are all upstairs where I spend all of my time.

The only things downstairs that are light enough to easily cart off are an old clock/radio/telephone, and old vacuum cleaner, an old microwave, and my coffee maker. Every single one of those things are still there, right where I left them. In fact, I didn’t find where anything was missing at all. Some big score, right?

But they did take a couple of very valuable things with them when they left – my sense of security and my peace of mind – at least what little of them I had left…

I want ice water.

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42 thoughts on “Bad News From Home…

        • I’m all right now Bats. The tears have gone and I’ve calmed down quite a lot in the day and a half since it happened. Also, I’ve taken measures to make sure I’m not caught off guard like that again and the cut window screen has been replaced. I’ve even managed to talk to my neighbor, who seems like a pretty cool guy.

          He not only let me know of similar incidents he’s heard about from others in our complex, but he now thinks he might have accidentally scared off the would-be burglar, who he saw walking away suspiciously from near our back doors when he went to take out his trash. He got a pretty good look at the guy too, and has promised to let me know if he sees him again! 😀

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  1. Oh, my. I am seventy years old, but I usually do remember to lock the doors. Well, sometimes I remember. I was in the shower one day recently when I heard my dogs having a fit and the phone ringing. I pay no attention to the doorbell or the phone. When I got dressed, I called my daughter to ask if she’d called me. A voice from my office area across the house said, “It was me!” My friend and computer guru was in my office working on my PC. Guess we hermits should pay more attention. 🙂

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    • Between my noisy neighbors and my TV that’s blasting 24/7 to drown them out, I have no idea what happening around me. That’s actually kinda how I wanted it, but I think it may be time to reconsider that strategy. 😯

      I’d consider getting some sort of an alarm, if I could afford it and actually had something worth protecting! 😀

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        • Oh what a nice dream that is. But a sufferer of major depression, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder who’s also to agoraphobic to even leave his apartment for doctor’s appointments is hardly a “prime candidate” for employment. In fact, the government actually stamped “unemployable” on my disability approval forms! 🙄

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          • I know. I wanted to find out what you’d say in response. I understand the situation. I don’t know enough about you to have an opinion. I do know that you write exceptionally well. Now, if you’d write about something other than yourself, I think you’d have one helluva’ following.

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            • Really? Fewer than 50 posts about my personal life out of a total of 890 is hardly screaming “Me, me meeeeee!” More importantly, it’s also not in line with being the “self therapy” journal this blog was intended to be. But I do appreciate the compliment on my writing. I don’t do nearly as much real writing as I used to, and I liked blogging much more back then. Of course, there is that whole “preaching to the choir” thing standing in the way…

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  2. first off i’m very sorry about what happened. i’m just happy they left you alone and most importantly ALIVE!. i had to get an alarm system installed about 2 months ago because of how f*cked up my area is becoming. i’m glad you made it out of the “hood” also, and i understand the want for peace and quite after being in that type of situation. that’s how i am to now.

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  3. Yikes!
    And yet… you will go on. Just go on.
    I once knew a serial killer. I saw him several times a week. When I rode my bike over to my Mom’s he let me stick it in his flat so I didn’t have to carry it up the stairs. Gave me a key. When he got married, I made the wedding cake.He was at my daughter’s 10th birthday party – 2 days before he was arrested.
    How could I have had no clue at all? Intelligent, sensitive, perceptive ME??? Had a good long cry and a rather extended pity-party for myself thinking of all the things that could have happened (he killed 11 women). But they didn’t. And somehow it twigged that yeah – it didn’t happen. Nothing happened to me or my kids. And I figured I was serial-killer proofed for life. And there was no point in worrying about it ever again. I didn’t and I don’t.
    But I do lock my doors at night because that is what any sensible person does…

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    • Good grief! I’m sure glad you and your family. I guess that just goes to show that you never really know the people around you! 😯

      Thank you so much for sharing. And yes, I will go on. Hopefully will a little less complacency…

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  4. I would suggest to you a home-made security system. Just something that will fall over if windows are opened or doors are opened without you being the one to open them from the inside. I am sure you could do this with household items.

    I am sorry this happened to you.

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    • Thanks Valentine. I was thinking about doing something like that, but hadn’t decided on what exactly. After reading your comment, I did a Google search for “home-made security system” and was just blown away by how much was actually out there. It’ll take a little while to sort through it all, but there’s certainly no shortage of ideas to mull over! 😀

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  5. Pingback: I’m Pickin Up Good Vibrations… | I Want Ice Water

  6. OMG Mak, I’m so glad you’re okay. Physically, anyway. I’m not sure I could stay there if that had happened to me. Your story makes me glad I passed up a two-story condo, where the main living area and master bedroom were upstairs. Like you, I rarely go out and I’d have gone days without going downstairs to the laundry room, second bedroom, or back door. Suggestion — leave a radio and lights on downstairs (and outside, if you have the option).

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    • Thanks PT. My next place will definitely have a one floor plan, if for no other reason than walking these stairs is hell on my knees and hips. And yes, my downstairs now has a decidedly more “occupied” look to it! 😀

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  7. I believe you have described the experience very well, Mak, a violation, albeit a mental one. The veneer of civilization is a thin one, and under the surface of all too many faces, animals lurk. I sense this not just in crime statistics but also in reports of road rage. I wish you well – be safe.

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    • Thanks Jim. One of the reasons why I live such an isolated life is because I recognize the influence that a person’s belief system has over his sense of right and wrong. Whenever I hear someone profess to believing in something that sounds crazy to me, my very next thought is about the types of extreme behavior that might seem okay in such a twisted mind…

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  8. Damn, man! Glad you’re OK, but it is a real gut shaker, isn’t it. The worst I’ve had was twice the same year, and probably by the same local kid, I planned to take something back out to the car after getting home late at night, and didn’t lock it. Both times the passenger door and the glove box were open, and all the lights on. Like you I’ve got nothing of value to leave in a car, but if I had decided not to go back out, the next morning the battery would have been dead, and I’d have had to wait for CAA when we should have been on our way to a doctor. Just makes you feel violated.

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  9. IM,
    I haven’t been around lately, so I’m a bit behind in your news, but this just really gets my ire up. How disturbing to know that someone was in your apartment while you were asleep. Too creepy. Back in my other life, the one in which I left my abode on a regular basis, we were once burglarized. The cops came, fingerprint dust, etc. My ex could tell them exactly what was missing because I was such an immaculate housekeeper in those days. Now? Not so much, but I have little worth stealing.

    I do remember feeling particularly violated after the whole experience, though. I had always felt very safe in that little apartment, a nice, brick four-plex in a rather sedate neighborhood near the beach. Everything changes once you know someone has touched your stuff.

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