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Ranimi23's avatar

How to improve my feelings after someone broke into my house last night?

Asked by Ranimi23 (1917points) December 20th, 2009

So sad. Everything is messy. Everything is scattered throughout the house. They destroyed everything and stole things. I feel a great sadness because of violation of privacy and a little scary. My safe place become a dump.

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24 Answers

Zen_Again's avatar


stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I’m feeling so much anger that I don’t know what I could tell you that would help your mood. You have my profound sympathy. Now get your security setup improved. ((hugs))

augustlan's avatar

Oh, no! I’m so sorry that happened to you. If you can afford it, hire someone to come in and help you clean up. Make your place more secure by installing deadbolts, and being sure everything is locked up tight. Maybe have a friend spend the night with you.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

I’m so sorry! I’ve never had my home broken into, but my car has been broken into several times, and it’s an awful feeling. ((Big hug.))

phillis's avatar

Oh, no :(

I’m so sorry!! That sucks beyond the telling of it, Ranimi. Do you suppose it is too early to feel “right” about it right now? It’s a brand new event, is what I’m noticing. From where I’m sitting, the way you’re feeling currently is right on target with how a normal person would react to being violated. Scared, madder than hell, wondering when and if it is going to happen again…’re trust has been shaken! What you thought your reality was has been shattered, which is enough to make ANYBODY feel this way.

I had my car stolen from me at the worst possible moment. I was moving!! At the time I had no husband or children, so everything I owned, minus the furniture, could fit in that car. Everything from my underwear to my grandmother’s senior ring was just – GONE. I literally had NOTHING LEFT. My life was wiped out. I am different today than I was back then, but I took it really, really hard. It took me a year to get over it. Seriously! That’s how ANGRY I got.

My hope is that you are able to feel everything as fully as it is powerful, THEN work on letting it go. To start, let’s have a look at the odds. The chances of you getting robbed again are very, very slim. It was your turn this time, nothing more than that exists. It wasn’t personal, either! Had somebody else owned your house at the time, it would have been they who were robbed. This was a crime of convenience ONLY. It had nothing to do with YOU or your loved ones.

Later on, if you like, we can look at lowering your future odds EVEN FURTHER with some very simple proactive steps. Just come tap me on the shoulder when you’re ready :)

My condolences for this most unhappy event. I hope they catch the bastard (or bitch).

wildflower's avatar

Take steps to prevent a repeat. Report the incident, call the locksmith to have new and improved locks put in, get an alarm system installed….and make sure you do these things before you claim insurance and replace the stolen items.

I had a break-in in my 1 bed flat a couple of months ago and for 3–4 nights after, I slept in the livingroom because it’s close to the backdoor so I could run out in case someone tried again – after a few days, getting a new deadbolt lock installed, I managed to convince myself, I can’t live in fear, just do what I’d normally do and work from the assumption it won’t happen again.

Of course, being morbidly curious about facts and stats, I did a bit of searching to find the probability of repeats and it turns out the chances are quite high if you don’t change the security of your place (because they know you’ll be replacing the stolen goods). On the other hand, if you do change the security, the chances of a repeat is very low…..especially where it’s not a thoroughly planned crime, but rather one of convenience.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Second what @wildflower said. Also, if you are going the firearms route for personal protection, get proper training first. Good locks,a good (not department store junk) detection/alarm system. Use the opportunity to add smoke/fire/carbon monoxide/gas detection to your system when first setting it up.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@wildflower, that’s a very good point about changing the locks ASAP. Our neighborhood blockwatch person said the best three crime deterrents are light, noise and a dog. The odds of a house or apartment being broken into when there are lights on, and noise coming from a television or stereo. Burglars don’t usually choose targets where they might encounter a person. Leaving a light or two on, as well as the radio or television, when you go out is not a bad idea.

wildflower's avatar

I should add: taking the steps I mentioned above will help you feel better because you’re ‘telling’ which gives a sense of exposing it and you’re taking control – it certainly did for me

phillis's avatar

Incredible answer, wildflower.

nebule's avatar

I’d just go through the feelings as and when you feel them…don’t try to move on. What an awful thing to happen, one of my biggest fears…I can only send you lots of love and hugs and please know that I’m here if you want to PM me just to let it out.

janbb's avatar

So sorry that happened to you. I’m sure the sense of violation is overwhelming. The suggestions that you put the place back together with friends and change the locks are good ones. Your feelings are understandable.

john65pennington's avatar

I was a buglary detective for 13 years and i have been asked this question many times, by the victims. they tell me they feel their house and personal property has been violated. touched by a total stranger in their house. i suggested this and it seemed to work for most victims. wash and clean everything! wash all your clothes that you believe the burglar touched. clean everything in the house with disinfectant. i made this statement for one reason: to clean their mind, psychologically. some tell me this really helps them to overcome the thought of a stranger handling their property. most victims want something to do, besides kill the burglar and this seems to help get their mind off of it. john

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sorry that happened to you.I know when my house was broken into,I was mad for a looooong time!They went through everything…and I mean everything!Whoever did this even made themselves a sandwichThis person must have been watching the house pretty closely as they seem to know schedules very well.I got my first gun shortly after that.I think John Pennington’s advice is very good and wish I would’ve thought of doing that as I’m sure it would’ve helped.It’s good that you weren’t home.

Cruiser's avatar

I second JP’s advice of cleaning everything and Lucilles of getting a gun. Both will provide a sense of peace of mind and taking ownership over the event. So sorry this happened to you and especially at this time of year. I hope they catch the rat bastard!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

How will owning a gun help if a break-in occurs when you’re not home? It would seem that the likely outcome is to have your gun stolen…

filmfann's avatar

@wildflower has great advice! First, secure your house.
How did they get in? Broken window? Unlocked door?
You may not want to hear this, but a house that has been robbed is often robbed again soon after. They take a TV, then the next month, they know you must have bought a new TV!
If you can, get a dog. Lots of bad guys don’t want to mess with dogs, even if they are small.

Cruiser's avatar

@PandoraBoxx you obviously have never had your house of car broken into. The vulnerability of that experience is profound and life changing. Having a gun gives you a sense of security within the confines of what is in you mind a crime scene waiting to happen again and allows one to take ownership of events that might occur in the future.

Mostly psychological is all. The home and contents are now protected by Smith and Wesson! One of the most reliable security systems ever!

PandoraBoxx's avatar

My home has not been burglarized, but my car has been broken into, numerous times. One time, my briefcase was stolen and my financial records strewn across the neighborhood. I had dealings with the IRS as a consequence of having to recreate a year’s worth of records. I’ve had car stereos taken, and a motor scooter taken from in front of my home, which was never recovered. There were three other theft attempts on the replacement scooter. We don’t have a garage, and I’ve had bicycles taken out of a backyard with a privacy fence.

My solution is to not leave things in sight in my car, drive an older car, and get a better lock for the scooter and the bicycles. In my house, I leave lights on, inside and out, and the television or radio on at all times. Doors are locked. Most of my friends own guns, but won’t own a dog, which is supposedly a good deterrent. Nobody’s ever had to use their guns, but I don’t think that’s because they own them.

wildflower's avatar

I really don’t think guns are the way to go – unless you’re used to them.
In my case, the burglars ran off when they heard me come in (or possibly after, that freaked me out!) and gun laws on this side of the atlantic don’t really allow for the smith&wesson security system – yet, we get by.

Cruiser's avatar

@PandoraBoxx , @wildflower By owning a gun I am more aware of the security issues of my home and family. That awareness is what I firmly believe as PB pointed out keeps my home secure. Will I ever need that gun??? Probably not, but at least I choose to not live in a bubble blissfully unaware that evil may someday break into my home. I too thought it would never happen to me and that one day I caught a punk rummaging through my car that experience forever convinced me that creeps will try and take what is yours no matter where you live.

Ranimi23's avatar

Well, I am not going to hold guns, but you gave me a great idea. Taking a dog. My family has a dog and it’s time I will have my own. A dog is a lot of responsibility but it will be nice to have here someone more than me.

Don’t know why I didn’t tought about it untill now. I love animals.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Ranimi23, another thing you can do is install window pins on your windows. this holds the top and bottom sash together unless you release it from the inside.

phillis's avatar

Criminologists are clear with their message. If somebody wants into you’re house, they WILL find a way in. taking measures to lessen your chances will deter the lesser determined criminals, significantly cutting your chances in your area. You have to psychologically establish once and for all that you are not a victim, first. That midset can set you up for failures unimaginable, and create a domino effect.

Ranimi, I think a dog is a fanstastic idea! It will help soothe you, psychologically. The deepr the chest, the deeper the bark :)

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