Life is such an amazing thing, but it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Sometimes things happen and you have to do your best to work through them.
About four years ago, I experienced an attempted break-in. I was living in a cabin in the woods with little-to-no cell service and no home phone (I know, that’s the start of most horror movies). It was a group of about four or five individuals who approached the home in the dark. At one point, I was in the bedroom loft upstairs and I could see them standing outside below my closet window. We had to get the police involved and I was able to get cell service long enough to call 9-1-1 and tell them that I needed help. I was sitting upstairs behind my ex (we were dating at the time) waiting for someone to walk up the stairs. It was horrible, but luckily the police got there before the people were able to get into the house. We left the residence with whatever expensive belongings we could carry and just hoped that our things would be there when we got back the next day. Thank goodness everything was in it’s place when we returned. I thought that after that night, everything would be okay. I slept with a pocketknife for a couple of weeks (that’s a dangerous idea, don’t do that) and we put up cameras around the outside of the house. Problem solved, right? Not quite.
Although I have since moved out of that house and live in an urban setting, I still struggle with going to sleep at times. Before going into our bedroom at night, I have to make sure that both of our doors are locked. Our dog sleeps by the front door at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second floor of our home. Our bedroom door is bolt-locked and we have easily accessible lights by our bed. With all of that being said, I have come a long way since the first year after the break-in occurred.
For a while I would have panic-attacks at night or when I was in the dark. Any noise would wake me from my sleep and my husband (years later) would have to sweep the house to make sure nobody was in the house. I am now able to lay in bed at night, heart rate under control, and peacefully fall asleep. I have learned to hear noises at night and realize that there are a million different things that it could be, but chances are that it’s going to be okay. I have stopped my brain from wandering to those scary moments in the past.
Why am I telling you this? Well, because a lot of people have traumas or difficult things that happen in their life that they have to then learn to overcome. It is, by no means, going to be an easy or quick journey, but you can overcome this. You will be able to sleep at night again. You will be able to watch scary movies again. You will eventually be able to do whatever it is that is difficult in the moment. Even if that means that you need to talk with a trained professional, you can work through it. You aren’t weak because of this moment. You are strong because you are pushing past this struggle.
Give yourself grace and be patient. You are doing the best that you can and everyone’s journey to healing is a little different. Remind yourself that whatever happened is in the past. Look at yourself in the mirror and say to your reflection that you aren’t going to let your past determine your future.
I was so incredibly fortunate to start dating my now-husband about six months after this incident occurred. He has been so patient with me and supportive of what I need to do to feel safe. Find those people in your life that will listen to your fears and help you to find peace.
You are strong and you will get past this obstacle.