A Sad Lesson

Tonight I got one of those phone calls. The minute I heard her voice I knew something was very wrong.

"Hi Mom."

"Hi Honey. What's wrong?"

A sob. "I got home from work and we've been robbed."

My daughter's Navy husband is out at sea on a two week mission. My little girl is alone in the port city twelve hours from home. I feel so helpless.

She came home from work at 10:00 pm and walked to the kitchen. She saw something on the floor, thought it was styrofoam-- turned on the light and discovered it was glass. The thieves had broken the sliding glass door in the kitchen at the back of the apartment.

She ran back out to the front door, not knowing if they were still in the apartment, and called 911 and then me. I stayed on the phone with her until the police arrived. I am so thankful that she didn't surprise them in her home, that she wasn't hurt.

The police did their work and told her  the culprits, probably drug addicts from all appearances, will most likely just pawn her stuff. Her laptop computer, his laptop, an Ipod, a Wii game system, her cell phone charger. Not the phone, she had that with her, just the charger! A new pair of Nike shoes and she doesn't even know what else yet. She's too shook up and afraid being there all alone to think straight right now.

It appears they did it in broad daylight. The next door neighbor in the building got home at 6 pm and didn't hear the glass breaking or anything else.

The maintenance men are there now boarding up the door. She will stay tonight at the home of another Navy wife whose husband is on her husband's ship. She is terrified. She hasn't been able to let her husband know because they can't have calls when they are under way.

She doesn't want to go back to the apartment and I don't blame her. I don't want her there either. She says they will move. She asked me how someone could do this to another human being--my little country girl living in the big city who always thinks the best of everyone. This is a lesson I wish she never had to learn. Only twenty-two years old, but sadly a lot wiser now, I guess.

datura datura
56-60, F
40 Responses Feb 13, 2010

I kind of know how your daughter feels. Good thing your daughter didn't surprise the burglers. I don't know if you read my story (Mugged In An Elevator), but I was acosted and had my purse stolen. Ripped right off of me. It was terrifying. Afterwards, I felt very violated. That was my stuff. Personal stuff, some very personal. At first, I wanted it back, but as time passed I realized I would just have thrown or given it all away after having it pawed over by some grubby guy. The violation feeling went away and I don't feel that way anymore. I am though still ashamed of my freezing and cowering and being totally helpless.

What an awful thing to have happen, Mary! I don't think you should feel ashamed though. Fighting back could have got you really hurt. Sometimes it's better not to resist. For every story of a person who fought back and succeeded there are lots more stories of people who got badly hurt by the mugger by resisting. I'm glad you no longer feel so violated.

There was a whole rash of robberies in her area over a 6 week period. Some robbers were caught, but none of my daughter's stuff was ever found and nothing could be pinpointed to these guys, so we don't really know.

They smashed the sliding glass door with a pair of vice grips, SM.

I don't think they have any housing open on ba<x>se there, b. It wasn't an option. When hubby was deployed for 7 months to Somalia and the Persian gulf she lived with another Navy wife who owned her own home and that gave them both more of a sense of security. She also belongs to an organization of Navy wives who meet regularly.

Should she not live on the ba<x>se?<br />
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The support systems from the other wives can be great.<br />
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love <br />
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This week was the year anniversary of the break-in, Imogen. Her hubby is once again out to sea. She had to work until 10 pm just like last year. She called me in the afternoon to remind me that this was the anniversary and to ask me to keep her in my thoughts and send a little prayer to help keep her peaceful. She called again when she got home safe to tell me that she was home and that everything was all right there, and we both gave a sigh of relief.<br />
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She has moved to a new apartment with a security alarm system and has got a dog to keep her company while her husband is deployed, but it is still not easy for her to go home late at night alone.

Wow, Datura, reading the actual conversation that ensued really put me into your shoes. It must have been a relief to have her on the other end of the phone so you could "wait" there ''with her". And every parents worse nightmare is these moments when there is absolutely nothing we can do in any tangible, practical way (like going right over and bringing her back home which I imagine you'd have liked to do!) It reminded me of the night when my son called me about the fire in his apartment as they all stood there watching it destroy everything they owned. Helplessness is torture.<br />
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I'm glad that she and her husband will have a better, more secure living situation. And I felt irritated with the owners upon hearing how lackadaisical they were about fixiing the damage. This almost felt more inexcusable to me than the break-in (which was a random act by admittedly irresponsible people). These custodians were getting money for a service which would include making security after such an incident, their number one priority. <br />
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Yet, as you say, its true that we get to learn from the 'bad breaks' that life brings along (if we are fortunate enough). It does make us appreciate things that we might have taken for granted. And learning "life skills' the hard way is quite often the most direct and long-lasting way to really incorporate such lessons. I know I tend to feel stronger AFTER I've had to deal with something that only overwhelmed me initially. It is precisely those sorts of nudges that I find have the most profound impact on my psyche. The sort of thing one can only even begin to integrate with the passage of time.<br />
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Time--as I know you know--is gonna be required for the trauma to lessen. And it sounds like your daughter, and her new husband, are already face to face with the sort of challenges that will ask them to consider what sort of priorities matter most to them, in making the decisions that life places before them. Its been interesting to hear (in these thoughtful comments) how many others have also had to work through the after effects of trauma. It seems to call forth a place of common understanding and support in those who've been through it, and this is something that your daughter will be able to do for others--share the benefit of the wisdom and experience she is gaining in this great 'living off on her own' experiment. <br />
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Thanks for sharing...

Thank you, Luda and thedistracted1. She is doing ok and I am proud of the resilience she is showing. But, I know it will be hard for her when her husband returns to sea duty again.

Oh! my God. That is awful. And more so cos she is alone! Its terribly painful!

That is sad but I am glad she wasn't home at the time. Hope she find a safer place.

Thanks LV. There are many nice personal things that she did not take with her when she moved there last fall. She left them her at home saying she didn't want anything to happen to them and felt they were safer here. She was so right!<br />
It appears they will be able to get out of the lease and will move to an place with a security alarm system already built in. I hope that will make her feel safer.<br />
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And, the maintenance department at her present apartment still has not fixed the door after ten days! It simply has a piece of plywood in the opening of the metal fr<x>ame--not even nailed in, just set inside the fr<x>ame! <br />
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And, last Friday, a week to the day after the robbery she got clipped on the freeway on her way to work by a hit and run driver! She is coming to appreciate just how nice it is back home in the country and she says they can't wait to move back after his enlistment is done. From a mother's point of view, at least something good is coming from all of this...

I am so sorry for what happened, and I am so glad that she is fine.<br />
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we had two major robbery when I was a child, so I can relate to that.<br />
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And since them I am so cautious about security and keeping valuable things at home.<br />
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My love and regards

Thanks, Spring. I am very thankful that she wasn't hurt.

Thanks, Cramer. It is so wrong.

Thanks mimi28 and ripplingwater . My daughter said too that even though it's probably not going to happen, she would love to see them/him/her caught and thrown in jail. That's when I knew she was doing better and not just feeling like a victim. She was mad!! Seemed like and improvement over terrified ;-)

thats just not right!

Huggs atleast she's got a great mum

I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm glad she has good support during this time. While it's unlikely, I hope they catch the scum.

Thanks for your comment, lw9386. I agree that there is consolation in knowing that the thief will suffer the consequences of his actions. Karma will ultimately deal with him.

Believe it is hurtful to be robbed , stolen from, it is a personal violation. And when someone does this fear strikes the heart. I agree how could another human being do this. Its called selfishness. It is rampant today. Some people do not treat people like they would like to be treated. No the self observed individual is only interested in whats in it for me. I hope your mom gets somewhere safe. I hope her treasures will be returned. And the consolation is whoever did this will definitely get whats coming to them.

Thanks you, Nowisthetime. It is quite a blow to a newly married young couple to have to deal with this. She has got quite an education in unforeseen unpleasant events in the 6 months since she's been down there. Shortly after her arrival her car was flooded by a big tropical storm and totaled and she had to deal with insurance companies and finding another car. She's getting a lot of practice!<br />
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That's an idea, Aliceinwonderment!

tell her to get a pitchfork to put next to her bed when she sleep

(((Destry)))<br />
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Thanks for both hugs, Luvmc! I agree that losing the sense of safety in one's own home is the worst part of the experience.

I am sorry that this happened to your daughter datura. I am grateful that she was not physically harmed. But it is awful that incidents like this, rob people like your daughter, of a sense of safety in their own home. I have no doubt that in time she will heal emotionally from this experience. Please send her a 'Hug" from me. And I send a *hug* to you as well. ;)

It sure is, Destry.

Thanks, Tummie. I needed that hug!

((((((((Datura)))))))) Sorry this happened to her :(

Thanks, SparkLilly. She's still a little shook up, but her feisty attitude has returned and that 's a good sign.

Aww! What a terrible experience for your daughter! I'm glad she's ok though. And it's a good thing that she was not inside the house when everything happened. I hope she's feeling a bit better now (((datura)))

Thanks, Frito. It's surprising to me how many of you have had this or a similar experience! I was so glad I was available when she called.<br />
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Little brother, I will gladly forward the hug on to her. Thank you.

Thanks Trailguide and Faucon. It means a lot.

send her hugs from africa.<br />
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love<br />

I'm so sorry Datura both for you and your daughter. I've experienced this once and felt such a sense of violation. Fortunately she didn't have a face to face confrontation and she was able to reach you and talk with you until the police arrived.

Oh no. I am so sorry she went through this. I am glad that she is physically okay but that feeling of loss of sense of safety in your own home is horrible . I went through this when my house in the big city was broken into years ago and i still remember how that feels. She is in my thoughts...as are you Datura.

Thanks for your comment and insight, IamLadyA. I will pass your experience and wisdom on to her.

Thank you so much, Abooklover. That's what hurts me the most right now, I suppose--that her sense of safety in her own home has been taken away, especially since her husband will be out to sea so much and she will be alone. Every time she comes "home" to that place she will remember this night...for a long time, I'm sure.

Thanks for your comment, aeth3r. You hit the nail right on the head about the sense of personal space being violated.<br />
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My daughter is not naive and she also has a joint degree in psychology and criminal justice. She knows what people are capable of, yet it is still such a shock when it happens to you in your home.<br />
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Thank you, Tasmin. It is an awful shock and a terrible feeling. And it will mean a lot of work for her dealing with the insurance company, banks, and everything else involved. And this time I won't even be there to help her. Not a good feeling.

I am so sorry datura , what a horrible shock for everyone.

There is definitely something very unsettling about having your personal space violated like that, irrespective of the property loss. <br />
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One of my friends is actually going through a very similar process. He caught a guy breaking in through a window to the house he shares with his girlfriend. A week later a brick went through another window, and he suspects the same person was retaliating for him reporting the break in to police. Now he's ensnared in a legal battle for trying to break the lease early for fear of his own safety. Yuck.