Being robbed, but not beaten

I had one of the worst experiences of my life this week. It’s right up there with my friend Sarah dying, and being bullied or treated badly by people in various situations I’ve been in, which have left scars of varying sizes.

I was robbed on Monday night when I went out for a few hours. Our bedroom was totally ransacked. They took everything of value, plus all the cash I had just withdrawn that day, a couple of hundred bucks worth of Thai baht. I lost my laptop, which was relatively new, Josh’s mini laptop, my Nikon SLR and my Canon point-and-shoot which Josh had bought me last Christmas. They even stole my little iPod shuffle and my beat-up Nokia phone. The only thing they didn’t steal was my newish iPod touch, which they didn’t see in the messy drawer. Thankfully they left my passport alone as well.

I’m still in shock that this actually happened to me. I can’t believe I walked in on a scene of total chaos, with all the drawers pulled out and all of our stuff rifled through. I still feel sick at the thought that people were there going through our stuff like that. Really, how dare they! I can’t even tell my parents about this because they would seriously have a heart attack.

It’s weird looking back on the last few days. I came home from Malaysia on Monday feeling out of sorts — it was an okay trip but somehow Malaysia itself really got to me by the end — and as soon as I arrived home I knew something was wrong. There was a padlock on the gate, which wasn’t there when I left. Long story short — the upstairs office next to my apartment had been robbed. I felt relieved to find that my apartment was still fine, and was talking to Josh later about how I would’ve had a nervous breakdown if my laptop was stolen. As it turned out, I didn’t had a nervous breakdown when my laptop was stolen, but then, I tend to use that expression pretty lightly. Instead, I have just felt really freaked out being in this place and last night I spent the night at the home of two wonderful new friends that Josh and I have made. Josh only came back from Malaysia today and thank God for that — at least he’s here now with me.

Of course, the main thing is that I wasn’t hurt, especially as I have a suspicion that they were actually in the house at the same time as me just before I left the  house. I did actually hear some weird noises when I left but I figured I was feeling edgy. What if I had stumbled in on where they were hiding, probably in my bathroom? Oh God, it could have been so much worse. I wouldn’t have been able to defend myself.

The truth is, after I moved into this place, I became more and more aware that as nice as it was, the place just wasn’t very secure. It’s great having lots of natural light come in, but it also means the windows are totally easy to break and so the house is very vulnerable. Knowing this still didn’t really change my behaviour because I tend to be relaxed about security and hate feeling paranoid. Now I think I was a bit too naive and even stupid as I was obviously a bit too relaxed, and now I wonder how I didn’t notice some of the handy features of the house liked the fact that a bunch of our drawers lock properly.

Regardless though, there’s no way I could have predicted this would happen the other night and it’s still a mystery as to how they got in because they didn’t leave any obvious clues. That’s kind of the freakiest part of all of this, and why I don’t intend to replace any more stuff while I’m here in this house because they would steal again I’m sure. We had already planned to move to a much more secure new apartment on 1 October when the sublease was up, but now we’re going to move there 1 September instead, even though we lose a month’s rent on the current place. The thought of the new apartment has actually made me happier in this dark time, and we’re planning to have a nice house warming around the middle of next month after we’ve settled in to shake off some of the bad vibes I’ve been experiencing lately. Obviously because of what just happened, but a few other things as well have made me feel a bit negative about my experience in Thailand, and not quite sure about how long I want to stay here after all. I haven’t gone into it on my blog yet because I’m still sorting it all out in my head and not ready to commit pen to paper just yet.

But anyway, I really appreciate so much all the kinds words of support and offers of help so thanks so much to everyone for being there for me in this difficult time. Even in the most dire circumstances, there is hope to be found. Although I’m feeling like total shit and keep wanting to throw up, I’ll slowly recover and learn to feel safe again. Especially as, when I was feeling absolutely horrible at work yesterday, I got an unexpected email from someone who offered me a chance to take a very different path in life. Watch this space — I could well be taking a completely unexpected turn soon, and much sooner than even I could have anticipated.

In the meantime, we’re off to Phuket tomorrow to join one of my oldest friends who I have known now for half my life — and along with his wife and two little girls, we’re all going to celebrate his 30th birthday. The adults will get smashed on champagne and cake, and the girls, just cake of course. So there are still plenty of good times ahead. I may have been robbed, but I haven’t been beaten yet.

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4 thoughts on “Being robbed, but not beaten

  1. Hi Sheila,
    Robbery and break in is always horrible. Just remember it’s not personal and sometimes it doesn’t matter how safe and secure the place is if someone wants to break in they’ll find a way. I’ve been broken into in every state in Australia that I’ve lived in and lost very little and things of great personal significance – my wedding ring and my grandmother’s wedding ring. Having the Beware Savage Dog seems to work in Leichhardt but who can tell – someone tried it here in the early stages too. You always feel creepy afterwards – but it is part of life.
    I love reading the blog and good luck with the move.

  2. Hi Charlie, thanks for the comforting message and yes, looking forward to the move now. Luckily I didn’t lose anything quite as valuable as what you have. Was just electronic stuff — though I hadn’t backed up in a while…argh! I know it’s not personal and I’ve been robbed before at train stations, but this was obviously much worse. The initial shock has worn off but yeah, I guess it’s that creepy feeling I really object to, not being able to feel that my home is a total sanctuary. I understand why people turn houses into fortresses now.

  3. Dear Sheila – glad to hear that your wonderful spirit has not been vanquished. Courage mon ami – I am very interested to hear what the new path of your life may be taking … can’t wait to read next week’s post. Have lovely relaxing time in Phuket and glad you are moving house on September 1 – that is first of Spring and Daffodil Day here in Ozland. With much affection, Imelda

  4. Thanks so much Imelda, yes I am pulling through, though it’s obviously been a challenge of late. Hope you are well back in Oz, I miss spring! We’re in the midst of the wet season here.

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