We got burgled. First, it looked like it might have been someone we trusted with our key, but after the locksmith talked to us, we are aware that anyone could have picked the lock. I am, time and time again, wavering what would be better; that we trusted the wrong person or that ANYONE could just have walked in at any time?

The burglar’s loot was not that great, I imagine. They targeted basically only money and jewellery. We usually keep very little cash in the house. This time we had a bit more cash in the apartment because I took out some money for the vet but the vet accepted debit card after all. It was simpler to keep the cash at home, in the nightstand, for later use than to pay part debit card part cash… well easier maybe, but apparently not safer.

And the rings and chains and pendants can’t be worth that much either. I don’t really know. My mom didn’t strike me as a woman to spend a lot on jewellery when she could spend it on going to her favourite place and spend it with her favourite people.

Photo taken by Nadja Meyer.

If I am really honest with myself, I am sad because now that the items are gone, with time, some of my memories will fade quicker. But that’s still not the worst the thieves took from me. The worst they took from me is a sanctuary.

My home should be the place I come to when everything else gets too much. When I can’t breathe and need to feel safe. When I need to curl up with my loved ones and forget about the world out there. It was my castle that kept everything at bay.

Until the moment someone stepped foot in my sanctuary. Until they dug through my underwear and inspected every little corner of my life that was not for their eyes or hands. My mind comes up with all the nasty little things they could have done. Install cameras in our bedroom, poisoned the cat food and the next time I feed the cats they get ill or worse, tamper with our food, hide things that rot over time and the apartment becomes a smelly mess and so much more. It’s stupid to think this way. Why would they? They went in, found the stuff they wanted since we didn’t hide anything either and got out in probably less than 2 minutes. But my mind is relentless. It imagines every time I open up a door in my home, that someone else is already in the room I am about to enter and for horrible long seconds, I am terrified to end the movement and open the door, to walk around the corner to go to the bathroom, to investigate the noise and maybe find that this time its not the cat.

I never have been all that paranoid. I’ve always been confident in my home. But it stopped being my home and has become a shelter from the elements and not much more at this point. My mind screams at me: “I’ve had enough. Enough of these walls, enough of this city! Please let us go home!” And then I ask my mind; “Where is home?” and it doesn’t answer, probably it cannot come up with one.

They took that from me.

I know, I should be grateful I was not home. I was not harmed and neither were the cats. I know, I should be happy they didn’t take the electronics or our passports. I know all could be much worse and I feel silly.

However, I do feel scared now all the time. I don’t want to be in the apartment and I don’t want to leave it on its own either. Because they could come back, somehow find a way of opening the new impenetrable lock and do all the little nasty things my mind comes up with.

No, the stuff is not the issue. It’s just stuff after all. Feeling helpless, feeling without a home is the real issue. How do I heal?

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