I had a rough week last week. I was feeling overly sensitive, very emotional and quite grumpy (just ask my husband). I was getting really stressed out about things that I normally take in stride. I was getting annoyed at people (when I usually try to choose compassion instead of getting frustrated). I wasn’t handling my 3-year-old’s challenging behavior very well. It wasn’t a good scene.
This time last year was the start of a few very difficult months. Our home was broken into last August while my husband and I were at work and over $10,000 of our belongings were stolen. Our wedding rings – gone. The watch I gave my husband as a wedding gift – gone. 75% of my favorite jewelry – gone. My laptop – gone. What was much worse than losing our material items though was losing that sense of safety I use to feel in my home.
I remember feeling absolutely horrified that strange men entered my home and went through my daughter’s room. Honestly, that was the worst part. Having someone go through my own stuff is one thing but the thought of someone being in my CHILD’S room – I just can’t even articulate how scary that was (and still is).
While it has been a year since the break in, I still find myself impacted by that violation. As one example, I was always weary of leaving my daughter’s windows open overnight because we live in a ranch and technically someone could reach the windows but after our home was broken into there was absolutely no way I was going to keep those windows open. Am I being ridiculous? Probably. But it makes me feel slightly better knowing her windows are locked shut when she’s sleeping.
I also get really nervous before going to sleep myself. I check to make sure our door is locked like 5 times and if I hear any kind of noise during the night I worry that it’s someone in the house. Our house was broken into during the afternoon – in full daylight – but interestingly I find myself the most scared in the evening.
I feel a lot better than I did last August but I’d be lying if I said I felt totally better. One thing I can say is that I never felt angry at the people who broke into our home and I’m actually really glad about that. I don’t know why they broke into our house and on my path to practicing universal compassion, I want to be able to feel compassionate towards them – and I do. But I still have to admit to myself that as we approach the anniversary of this difficult period, those feelings of fear are creeping back in.
I am notoriously hard on myself and I feel bad that I wasn’t myself last week (and I’m still not totally back to myself this week either). I wish it was easier for me to practice self-compassion – to really give myself room to feel however I’m feeling – and not judge those feelings. Having our home broken into violated our sense of safety and it’s going to take a long time for us to feel totally comfortable again. And I have to remind myself that that’s OK and my feeling are understandable and valid.