About two weeks before Christmas, my new office was broken into. Things were stolen, walls were smashes, a mess was made. Thankfully at the end of the day it was not as bad as it looked, but it took awhile to bounce back.
A few days later, things kept happening because of that break-in. The landlords of the building were refusing to reinforce the door at the front, saying it was ‘tenant error’ that caused the break in. I logged into our bank account and we found out cheques were stolen and cashed. Our credit card was compromised. It was almost an entire day changing all our account information and stressing about what we might have missed. Five days later and I was sitting at my desk crying in absolute stress. I was overwhelmed and afraid, and I just broke down. My business partner kept telling me not to take it personally, but he just didn’t understand. My entire safety had been violated. For the first time in my single life living in the city, I was afraid.
Here’s where things pressed on me. First, I was completely alone. My business partner was away seeing family, so I dealt with the entire break-in completely by myself. I had the repairs done. I cleaned up. I dealt with the police. I made the decisions. I’m proud that I was able to calmly handle everything the way I did. But I was alone. When I went home at night, I felt unsafe in my normally very safe apartment. I got up and dreaded going back to the office, certain it had happened again. I hated sitting in the office knowing someone had been through all my things. I was convinced the burglars had gotten my address somewhere and would target my home next. I sat in the office by myself for a week, and felt completely exposed.
Over the holidays I went to my moms and we then took a trip to sun peaks. I was gone a week and a half. Every night I had this sinking feeling in my stomach that my apartment would be ransacked when I got back. I was afraid to go home. I stayed with my mom longer than I intended because I didn’t want to deal with it. The hour long drive back was one of the longest of my entire life. My heart thumped wildly in my chest as I went up the stairs.
My apartment was safe.
This is the part that really gets me. I don’t care about the space. I got it repaired. I don’t care about what banking info was compromised. At the end of the day the banks protected us. I don’t think I would even really care if my apartment was broken into. There’s nothing I have that I can’t replace. I’ve started with nothing once, I can do it again.
But the fear. The feeling of being unsafe. Looking at people as they pass and judging them, wondering if they are dangerous to me. This is something I’ve never experienced before. I’ve lived a relatively safe life. I’ve never been threatened or hurt. I go about life blissfully, thinking the best. That core belief has been shake, and I can’t seem to get myself back. Continue reading