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Someone Stole Our Stuff

Given: life is full of unexpected twists and turns. 

This given makes the surprises no less surprising, though. Wrapping up my third summer in Hartford for my Montessori training, I woke up to violation. Someone in the early hours of the morning broke into our townhouse and made off with two cars, a laptop and other personal items. I was awake when this happened, three floors up. I heard a sound and assumed it was one my roommates getting up.


Stage 1.  This is my fault. 

I was up in the middle of the night. I went outside. Did I leave my key outside? Is that how the person got in?    

 Stage 2. This is all their fault. 

Where was security? Why weren’t they patrolling? Why don’t the cops patrol through   here.


Stage 3: This is only one person’s fault.

The person who took things. Sure, other people may have made  mistakes in terms of security or whatever, but the person who took our stuff? Did not make a mistake. They made a choice, and that makes all the difference.


Stage 3 is where I’m at today. So, today, Stage 3 is where the truth lies.

The breaking of laws is not the only thing that makes criminality so unbearable. It’s the effect on the people t violated. We are plunged into a quagmire of questions, guilt, blame… someone must be held responsible!! And when the responsible party, the criminal, is not available, we will grasp at any other possibility — focusing our fury at the first available entity. 

Crimes, though, are always the fault of criminals. I now understand that some people will find a way. No matter how careful you or those charged with your protection try to be. 

We’re acclimated to expect a justice that’s built on an eye for an eye. You stole my stuff, therefore you deserve to go to jail. This justice, even if it can happen, is empty. It is a hollow promise of a return to normalcy. It does not restore you. It does not put the pieces back together that were once your sense of security. Nothing can change the feeling I have knowing that I was one cup of coffee or tea away from walking in on this person while they were stealing our stuff.  I don't dwell on this point, but I am aware of it.

There is no restoration - no return to what once was. And it is disappointing to realize that there is no immediate justice in a situation like this. There is only exercising a great deal of putting the pieces of your hope, security and faith back together. There’s only hoping the fragments of that light stick  until they form a suitable replacement for what once was. 

This is going to be okay. 

We are all going to be okay. 

We will put those pieces together and they will stick because we have no other option. 

We cannot fulfill our destiny if we let things moments like this shatter what we know to be true - that most people are good and deserving of our trust.

Where I’m at now is knowing that the struggle for me isn’t going to be dealing with the insurance company and getting a new car. The struggle will be to hold on to the idea that people are generally good. We wage a battle as we accept that humans are both dark and light, and we must make choices about which outnumbers the other.

I choose light over dark.

But the struggle persists.

Reader Comments (2)

i feel you. oh how i feel you. last october my house was robbed while i was at work. they overturned things and ransacked the place. they stole things, so many things, but out of everything they took, the most precious to me was my mother's jewelry. sure, my good pieces were in mom's jewelry box also, but they stole the pieces of her's that had stories. i never wore some of them, but when i would take them out and hold them i felt an extra special closeness to her. those pieces of jewelry can't bring my mom back and i know that, but dammit, i know those kids aren't appreciating mom's jewelry and it is so sad to me. of course, they also stole between 25 and 35 collectible bottles of maker's mark. FULL bottles. special edition bottles worth over $250 each. but it wasn't the money. it was that they took those bottles AND they went into my fridge and took bottles of cheap wine. FROM MY FRIDGE. sigh. i felt so violated, so unsafe. that is what they really took when it boils down. they took my feelings of comfort and safety.
and yet, after the first day or so of sadness, i realized that those material things are gone and i refuse to allow the actions of a few high school kids to turn me into someone i am not. i won't allow them to make me think people are all bad or out to get anything they can from whoever they can. i will still smile at strangers and pray that they are blessed. i will still know there are more good people than bad. i will still be thankful for the things i do still have. no one can take my memories of mom away.
i'm so sorry you were robbed. i am incredibly thankful that you were not hurt. and that you know choose light.

August 3, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf

This is so wise in so many ways!

You are reminding me how extremely disturbing it is to be robbed--from a psychological angle. You almost *feel* the malevolence of the thief--their total indifference to you and your welfare.

It can very much shift the perspective you have on humanity as a whole--for awhile.

And yes, it's only one person's actions...only one person is to blame.

And it can't be restored.

Yes, people are generally good. Even the thief could have a good point to him or her. Most people are mostly good!

What a strange thing though--it's also strange that it's terrible to have someone take money but so much less to have them take STUFF. There's a way that our stuff is like an extension of ourselves.

Such a great blog post. Thank you.

February 3, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

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