Thank goodness for our wonderful wedding reprieve this past weekend, the best possible distraction from our break in. Still, that darn damaged door had been nagging at both of us. I know that the 2 x 4 holding it closed probably makes our entry more impenetrable than it’s ever been, but it also serves as a constant reminder of bad people doing bad things. I was becoming increasingly unsettled by that reminder, as was J.
So you can imagine my excitement when Allan at Alberta Windows and Doors contacted me unexpectedly yesterday to let me know that, if I could make myself available, his men would be over pronto to install our new door. Would I be home? You bet your butt I would! Eddie arrived a few hours later with his hardworking crew, and, abracadabra, we have a beautiful and secure new door.
I’ve written before about health-challenged people’s medical blips that land us at the doctor or in hospital. This story begs the introduction of the emotional blip, which I’ve had in response to the break in. I will explain.
Just after I moved to Calgary many years ago, I suffered a series of break ins by a fellow who had a master key to my suite. He would come in to my apartment during the day and hang out. More than a few times, I wondered whether I’d left that item in that spot. But because the intruder was a drinker, one day he made the mistake of leaving a newspaper behind. The following day, having found a business card lying around, he called me at my workplace. Needless to say, this attention was unwanted and made me feel very unsafe, so I moved. Following these events, I suffered from what we psychologists refer to as post-traumatic stress disorder: I had my first and last experience of not being able to eat because of stress, became extra vigilant of my surroundings, replayed the incident over and over in my mind, and for years had nightmares of an intruder in my home. Those nightmares had dissipated more recently, but they returned with this break in. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
I know I’ve probably sounded a bit melodramatic as I’ve talked about our break in, but for me there is a history and a context for my reaction. I don’t need to tell you about this history for you to understand how violating a break in is–I’ve received an unexpected outpouring of kindness and support from many of you who know nothing about this past experience. Maybe I’m telling you this story because I’m embarrassed at how overwhelmed I’ve been by the incident. The recent intrusion was nothing like the ones I had gone through years ago, yet it was similar enough to spark a similar reaction.
But now the story has a happy ending. Last night I slept through the night for the first time since that fateful day. I imagine I may have a few more nightmares in the coming weeks, but, like any blip, time will heal this wound. I’m a psychologist, so I know how these things work.