One Week Later: Recovering…
Today marks one week since my apartment was broken into. Although I may not be crying every two hours, or playing back the scene from last week in my head every time I daze off, I am still not completely rid of the fear and disbelief. Some people have said that my roommate and I are “lucky” that we weren’t in the apartment when it happened, which I can agree with. However, at the same time,
the shock that hits you when you walk into your apartment, seeing your clothes and valuables scattered across your room is something that I truly can’t even put into words. I am not sure if I have ever been so speechless in my life. The shock hit me like a brick wall. I was thinking, “I lived in West Philadelphia for five years, one of the most dangerous places for crime in the country, and no one ever broke into my apartment or dorm. Plus, half the time we didn’t even lock our door! How the hell did this happen here? In Astoria? In the busiest part of the neighborhood? In such a “safe” part of Queens”
My father came over my apartment Sunday night and inserted some vertical wooden planks into our windows. This is essentially a barrier from opening the window. While this definitely makes me feel a bit safer, I am still feeling uneasy about the whole “underwear” part. It fucking skeeves me out thinking that some pervert stole a full box of my underwear? Like really? My MacBook Air was over $1000, however, I’m honestly more disturbed by the fact that my underwear was stolen and that my bed was unmade when I walked into my room. Anyone who knows me knows that I CANNOT leave my room in the morning if I do not make my bed. Ever since college, I rather be late to class or work than leave my bed unmade. I don’t know, it’s one of my “things” that makes me feel a lot better coming home to a clean and tidy room. The fact that I came home that night and my purse was thrown onto my bed, my cashmere blanket was unfolded, and my pillows were pushed to the side, made me furious. It was an intrusion of privacy that made me develop this wicked sense of anger that I have never felt before. I am typically the least controversial person on the planet. However, seeing my things contaminated by this disgusting human, made me feel like I actually wanted to attack, like some sort of animal. I never wanted to hunt someone down more in my life.
I read a blog piece last Wednesday called “5 Things No One Tells You About Getting Robbed” when I was sitting down at work, still shaking with fear and uncertainty. Summarizing the article, here are the 5 things the author listed:
- Your Imagination is Worse Than Reality
- They Will Take Things You Don’t Expect
- You Will Become a Worse Person
- You Will Try to Crack the Case Yourself
- You Will Accept Communism (satire… kinda).
I can pretty much relate to and agree with all of these statements (although my scenario is considered a “burglary” not a “robbery”). For (1), I definitely thought that I was going to come home to my apartment a fucking wreck. I thought that the couch would be turned over, bottles broken, graffiti on the wall… lol. Looking back now I think this is quite funny and obviously dramatic, but the image they paint most of the time in movies and in TV is exaclty like this. It’s the same thing as house parties in movies versus house parties in real life. It’s never (at least in my neighborhood) one of those epic mansions with a DJ, expensive bottles of liquor, hot girls dancing in lingerie — it’s more like a small laptop playing music through a mini speaker, cheap beer, and mediocre girls blacking out and throwing up in the bathroom. C’mon, admit it, you’ve been to the parties I’ve been to. Same goes with the burglary, which is quite fortunate in this case. Besides my room and Aku’s room (which still wasn’t a complete disaster), the apartment looked pretty normal when I walked in besides a few small differences.
(2) They will take things you don’t expect… Yes. Like my underwear. Which will probably haunt me for the rest of my life. I literally have thought about locking up my underwear in a safe which is not only super inconvenient every morning, but uh… can you imagine the look on the guy’s face I bring over (shut up if you are making another “single” joke about me) when he sees me open a safe to a huge pile of underwear? “Yo is your underwear lined with gold or something?” Yeah, ummm… long story. On the other side of things, they also didn’t take things I did expect. It made me think of the computer game The Sims (if you didn’t play The Sims growing up, what did you even do with your life after school?!). When there was a burglary/robbery in The Sims, they usually took the TV, the computer, expensive artwork, or a stereo. Fortunately in real life, it’s nearly impossible to fit a flat screen TV into a backpack. Yes, they stole my laptop, but that’s pretty unsurprising since my MacBook Air is super thin and light. But the TV was there, and our large painting in the living room was there. In this case I am happy that The Sims does not match reality (however in other cases, it would be awesome to cook dinner in less than 10 seconds).
(3) You will become a worse person… or a better animal? Like I said earlier, I felt like an animal anxiously waiting to attack it’s prey. I’ve never wanted to harm someone so much in my life, like actually hit them and see them suffer. I still feel guilty typing that out, like I’m a horrid person if I’m feeling some sort of high from envisioning someone suffer beneath my feet. However, I go back running to my apartment and seeing my roommate balling her eyes out, scared to death, and seeing that ladder planted against our back window, and my evil feelings are all confirmed again.
(4) You will try to crack the case yourself. I don’t want to sound disrespectful in any way although I am sure some people will be offended by this (#2017), but the cops really didn’t seem like this was a “big deal” to them. They even mentioned, “we see this stuff happen all the time in this area.” Well ya know what, ‘sir,’ this shit doesn’t happen to us everyday, and we are shaking in our fucking boots. I spoke to my friend who is a surgeon, and he mentioned how cops (and even himself in his career) are essentially “desensitized” to these occurrences since they cannot become emotionally invested or attached to a certain case. They must act confident and strong in these scary situations – which ya know what, I get that. But, the thing that pissed my roommate and myself off so much was that they didn’t take it very seriously. They joked that we should just poor ourselves a drink and relax, and one of the cops even saved his number in my roommate’s phone as “Anthony Handsome ~cop emoji~.” Duddddddddeeeeeeeeeeeee… this is NOT the fucking time to flirt with us. We just got fucking robbed. My sex drive is at an ultimate low. I have no desire to flirt and play kissy games, man. Just find this fucking dude and get our shit back. Therefore, since they didn’t seem to be super proactive in this case, my roommate and I were using our phone lights, searching the apartment for prints, foreign hair strands, or things left behind in order to come closer to catching these dudes. Also, when I have been leaving the apartment, I have been pretty much walking backwards like a weirdo, watching our house like a hawk. We are constantly watching out for suspicious activity; I’ve never felt more cautious.
(5) You will accept Communism. Lol. This is what the author wrote which I can laugh and say, “sure” to:
I have come to grips with the fact that I don’t actually own anything. I have no personal possessions. None of us do. We all just have some stuff that is ours until some highly motivated and unscrupulous individual decides he wants it for himself. So, yeah, just like communism.
So, all in all… I am recovering OK. I am doing OK, but still not 100% Kelcey, which is expected. I have been feeling really blessed that so many people have reached out to me on social media about this, especially people who I truly didn’t expect to. A girl from my high school reached out to me and I probably haven’t spoken to her in 5-6 years? But she was so kind and thoughtful, it really made me feel loved and cared for. My parents, who are typically super unemotional and insensitive, have been checking up on me more than usual. My younger brother even texted me! I think this was the first time he initiated a conversation with me?! My boss and co-workers have been fantastic as always. I am always so grateful how understanding and trustworthy they are.
Lastly, my roommate is feeling a bit better as well. It was truly heartbreaking to walk into the apartment, seeing her face flushed with fear and discomfort. We really try to look out for one another, and it’s great having a roommate who isn’t just “a roommate,” but a close friend as well. We genuinely care for one another, and it’s disheartening for both of us to see each other so flustered with panic. But this experience has definitely made us more cautious of our surroundings, and of course a lot stronger emotionally and mentally.
We are getting better day by day, and taking every action to make sure this never happens again. Thanks to everyone for all your kind words and support. ❤