Its everyone’s nightmare, your home, your save-haven is broken into by intruders. The anxious feeling that you can’t shake. As a mom I have no idea how to comfort my children. How do you help them believe that this will never happen again, when you truly thought it never would happen in the first place. These thins don’t happen to you, this is something that happens to other people.
My peace of mind is gone…..I was wondering all night trying to make sense of what happened to us yesterday. I do not feel safe in my own home, my kids don’t feel safe and we probably never will. Someone broke into our house in broad day light. I was gone for less than hours and someone broke into our house and has forever taken that feeling of “safe” from us. Today I didn’t even want to open my blinds, because I know someone was watching me enough to know when I left is a horrible feeling.These Individuals kicked down our back door, helped themselves to water out of our fridge like invited guests. They went through all of our cupboards, drawers, and went into my kids rooms. They took things they didn’t work hard to earn, and that did not belong to them.
We are lucky to have a such great support system. Having friends check on us, bring us dinner, and ask us if we needed a place to stay. I had to decline because I truly felt if I left the house, I would never come back. I laid with my kids until they fell asleep, they made sure to tell me to leave their doors open. They asked if we could move, because they didn’t want to live here anymore. As a military family its bad enough we never feel home but to take our sense of “safe” away is a feeling I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My kids deal with loss of so many things with every new duty station, so they do not deserve this. I am writing this article to share how raw our feelings are and that feeling of “It wont happen to us” should not exist, it can happen to you so prepare for it.
We have talked about security systems and cameras in the past, we just never got around to doing anything about it. So I am telling you STOP TALKING and get cameras, get a security system, get a big mean dog (Charlotte, our poor chihuahua was scared to death when I got home, I think she even wants a guard dog).
Take precautions don’t use your safe like we did to keep items safe from fire, lock it, and protect all your information. Our social security cards, birth certificates, and passports all stolen. So on top of everything I have to make sure none of our identities are stolen including my children’s.
So this morning I was searching for ways to help my kids through this process. My oldest kept saying “Good thing you went shopping and you weren’t home mom”. I could have been home with this happened. Maybe this wouldn’t have happened if I was home. Just a few of the million ideas rolling through my head on a loop.
Bottom line everyone is safe and no one was hurt. Material items can be replaced, however feeling safe in our home is not going to be one of them. I feel violated, mad, and most of all I feel sad for my children. They feel scared and violated these “bad guys” were in their personal space their safe haven. They went from shock to panic in a matter of minutes and as a mom I can’t take that feeling away. I feel just as vulnerable and insecure so how do I help them? All day I couldn’t seem to get comfortable I felt anxious, will this feeling go away soon? I will be positive with the steps we are taking to secure our family and hope that one day at a time we will be strong and gain some sense of “feeling safe” back into our normal routines.
We had so many friends reach out to us and just let us know they were here for us if we needed it. We had friends offer us a place to stay. However, I was truly afraid if I left I would never come back. We had friends bring us food (we didn’t even think about meals at this point). We had friends just stop by, and take time to make sure we were ok.
We needed them we needed to know we weren’t alone in all this. People were truly worried about our well-being ad that means the world to us. They didn’t know what to say but they listened and they offered any support they could. Like us they were taken back at how this could happen in broad daylight in a busy high traffic neighborhood.
I know all the items in my home can be replaced, but how can I give my children peace of mind? Sentimental items that had valet my children are now in the hands of strangers.
Some signs that your child may be struggling emotionally are:
- Trouble Sleeping
- Change in Eating Habits
- Fears about Additional Beak-Ins
- Clingy Behavior
Anxiety and fear are easier for adults to recover from than they are for children. Children need a strong support system this includes parents, teachers, counselors etc. The first thing I did this morning was call the school and ask to speak with my children’s teachers. They spend all day with my kids and I wanted them to know what happened at home. I also wanted them to alert me with any changes in behavior. I then asked to speak with the school counselor, to ask her to reach out to my children. having her just check in with my kids to see if they may open up to her about the event. Some of these following tips helped me gain some perspective on what to do next.
Ways To Manage Effects/Feelings of a Home Invasion:
- Reassure your children show them your house is safe now. We are adding cameras and a security system to the house. I am hoping this helps make them feel safer then they do right now.
- Encourage your child to talk to you if they are concerned. Let them know they can share their feelings or fears with you You want to make sure they know they can communicate with you.
- Stick to routines. You need to enforce a sense of stability and help them get back to normal routine as soon as possible.
- DO NOT share what-ifs with your children. What if you would have been home? What if they come back? The children do not need to know worst case scenarios at all. Preparing them is one thing but worrying them is a whole other.
- Encourage positive activities. Anything to help distract them from thinking about what happened.
- Help them feel like they are in control. Talk about ideas on how to protect themselves like how to call police or activate an alarm system.
- Try not to encourage long-term sleeping habits like sleeping with lights on or sleeping with them to make them feel safe.