It was a Saturday evening in late September. My 13 year old daughter and I were at home alone. Our dog was in the fenced backyard and he was agitated--barking constantly and I just knew neighbors would be complaining with good reason! I went to the back door and called for him to get quiet.
No sooner had I sat down again to watch some television when I thought I heard a noise. You know how your house will make certain sounds --well this faint noise that I heard was a new sound, so I got up to investigate.
Just as I entered the entryway, the front door (which had been locked) burst open with a crash. The wood frame around the door splintered and fell to the floor as five older teens/young 20-somethings came flying into the entryway one behind the other. They were dressed in dark clothes and had ball caps on their heads. Bandanas were tied around the lower portion of their faces so I could only see the upper half. The first one seemed to the leader and he was screaming out some kind of order to me. "Get on the floor!" or something like that.
I had three simultaneous thoughts run through my head as I kept my eye on the knife he held towards me:
- I can't believe this is happening, is it a movie?
- Oh my gosh they broke my door!
- I need to protect my daughter
- What should I do?
All I can say is that the Lord had his angels encamped around us that evening. When I think of what could have happened in that scenario and what did transpire in the minutes-that-seemed-like-hours when the punks were there, I know there was some supernatural protection going on.
At the end of the event, my daughter was safe and unharmed in any way, the police had been called, and the perpetrators left my home empty-handed. Although I had been physically hurt it was relatively minor.
Psychologically was another matter. I made my home a fortress-- having at least 4 locks put on each door and making sure there was a working alarm system. The system was always on - and the house d was always locked up tight. I didn't want to let my children out of the house. [That did not fly so well with them.] My every thought was consumed with being safe, getting safe, staying safe. It was crazy.
After a few months, I had worked through the incident and I got mad. How dare someone invade my home - my safe haven. I decided that I was NOT going to be a victim and live as a prisoner within my own home and mind. I loosened up on the alarms and most locks, only using them after everyone was in for the evening. [Much to my children's relief.] I forced myself to go out.
It was not easy at first. I had to prove to myself that I was not a victim. Why should I have to pay the consequences and for someone else's bad behavior. As time went on it was easier and easier.
The physical wounds healed pretty quickly. The psychological wounds took longer and may never go totally away. They are buried deep within. This happened nearly two decades ago and still my pulse has quickened from just recording it briefly here.
Today, I live pretty safely. I stay aware of my surroundings. Yes, I am a little anxious at times especially when I hear an unknown noise. Bad things have happened to me and around me... but I am not a victim.