Theft, invasion and insecurity

I've been having anxiety attacks lately and have had a lot of trouble going out. I've been fine in familiar surroundings, such as church, but most public situations, including travelling on public transport to get anywhere, have been rather traumatic. Even answering the phone sometimes is a chore, if I don't know who's calling. Consequently, I've spent most of the past six weeks indoors, on my own for the most part while my housemate has been at work, and my main contact with the rest of humanity has been through the internet.

Yesterday, a good friend came round to spend a few hours, and we stepped out to see Tim Butron's The Corpse Bride,(which was wonderful, by the way). It was the first time I'd been out to spend time with friends for ages and it was great to get out the house. When I stepped out of the cinema, I switched my phone on to receive a text message from my housemate, informing me that that house had been broken into. When I got in, I realised that the one and only thing that had been taken was my laptop.

I was angry at first, but then accepted the loss. My main upset was that I had been so invaded. My bedroom is MY space. Only very rarely do house guests enter it and then only my closest friends. Yet there was my room, the contents of my drawers all over the floor, the belongings from under my bed scattered all over and my computer gone. I felt extremely unsafe last night and took my icon of St Michael to bed with me.

Now I'm here on my own, using my housemate's laptop which he'll be taking to work with him in a few minutes, knowing that I'll probably spend the day watching The Golden Girls.

I must admit that I'm finding it difficult to believe that, for the past six weeks, there hasn't been more than half an hour when the house has not been occupied, and for the first time in six weeks I step out for more than an hour and we get burgled. The police were here within the hour and were brilliant. they were so efficient and sensitive and I plan to write a letter saying so. The forensic chap came round a little later and dusted for prints (which I had only ever seen before on TV). It all seemed so dramatic.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I may not be online for a while for any more than occasional visits. I got the laptop last December and the insurance did cover theft but I can't remember whether it was a 6 or 12-month cover so I'll make the necessary phone calls today. if any of my friends receive any untoward contact from me electronically, please know that this is not me but my computer being used by somebody else.

With prayers,

28 responses:

Anonymous said...

AARGHHH! Dear Michael, God bless you and may you have a new laptop as soon as the insurance/replacement warranty can go into action!

When you get done with the phone calls, check the local pawnshops....

With many prayers, and hugs and yes, kisses from

Leetle M.
Many Orthodoxen before us have been burgled and worse by the Bolsheviks, the Turks, you name whatever Godless force you care to name. "Pray for them that despitefully use you...." I pray God will forgive them, and change their lives so that they never burgle again.

Joe said...

I am very sorry to hear this Michael. If there is anything I can do let me know. My prayers are with you...

Joe Zollars

Henry B said...

As I said to you earlier on the phone - I'm sorry that you got burgled and I'll be praying for you.

Eric John said...

I'm sorry, Michael. That's an awful feeling, and after such anxiety already. God give you some peace and rest. And may he bring the theif to repentance--and Orthodoxy! (There's no escape from the Church!)

Ian said...


My prayers are with you -- and your presence online will be missed. Thanks be to God you and your roommate were not there when it happened and are unharmed.

God bless.

Jacob Hicks said...

Oh, that's rather a bugger! Sorry to hear it, and I shall pray for you and your housemate. I'll also contact you by other means in a couple of days.

Michael said...

Many thanks, all, for your support and kind words. The insurance was only for 6 months and so it wasn't covered.

I have accepted the loss, although it is rather inconvenient. It's more the feelings of invasion and insecurity that I'm struggling with.

To be honest, I think that, had we been at home, it wouldn't have happened. As I said, this was the first time in over 6 weeks that the house had been empty for more than half an hour. I find it difficult to believe that it was coincidental that this is when the perpetrator(s) struck, especially in light of the fact that the part of our brick wall that doubles as our gatepost was pushed over two nights ago. I was lying on the floor (as is my custom - I loathe chairs), watching Howard's End, when I felt the vibration and went outside to investigate, and there it was. I'm not at all convinced that it toppled by itself.

The prayer book hasn't arrived yet, Joe, but I promise to try to get online once it arrives and I've had a chance to compare the two.

Anonymous said...

Oh, dear. More prayers comin' your way!

Leetle M.

Joe said...

prayers indeed!

Joe Zollars

Ian said...

More prayers.

And a Happy (New Calendar! ;-)) Feast Day to you Michael, and God grant you many, many years!

Joe said...

oh my! nearly forgot it was Synaxis of the Archangels. Will definately say extra prayers for you this evening.

Joe (middle name Michael in a foreign language) Zollars

Anonymous said...

Aarrgh.... now somebody'll have to remind me on the 21st. Many years, Michael!

And Stolichnaya,


dj_ordinaire said...

Oh no! Many prayers. Thank goodness none of your books or ikons were damaged.

Anonymous said...

I just read it. It's horrible mate. I had my house broken into when I was on high school. I remember it vividly. We have gone to sleep; next day I was to have my final exams in RE and literature. At 05:00 my dad heard a noise and he realised that someone was in the house. Thankfully they didn't have the time to take anything, except for a few bucks my bro had left on the living room. A horrible experience. My parents started shouting and the burglars left. In the morning we learnt that they had burglared another floor as well. Both parents and the children were sleeping and they didn't understand anything. A few years later we learnt from the police that they have been criminals from Roumania that were illegaly staying in our country.

Hope the trauma gets healed, Michael.


Michael said...

Many thanks, everyone, for your name day greetings and well wishes. :-) I like this New Calendar/Old Calendar thing. I get greeted twice for everything. :-D

November 21st falls on a Sunday this year in the Old Calendar, so I get to go to a Liturgy on the Feast of the Presentation. I have never been to an Anglican church that celebrated this and the Feast (but not the teaching) was suppressed in the Roman Catholic Calendar in the 1960s, so this will be my first. :-)

Anonymous said...

Oh, that's grand, Michael!

I personally am rejoicing because my pastor has announced that our parish (St. Demetrios', Upper Darby, PA--it should be Derby but at least they got the pronunciation right... there's a "lower" Darby that is just called "Darby" south of there). Anyhow, our parish will have a liturgy =every day= during Advent! That is a real "first" for Greek Orthodox churches round here; usually the Divine Liturgy is only on Sundays and major Holy Days.

Our priest is the very best!

His name is Demetrios too.

Leetle M.

Anonymous said...

Happy name day Michael! It hasn't occurred to me that, well, we have the same name days in our calendars :D


Ian said...

How wonderful Leetle Masha: I wish I were able to be there. Every day; what a blessing.

Wonderful news about the Feast Michael; I look forward to your report. And my prayers continue to be with you and your housemate.

Anonymous said...

I wish you were =all= here too, Ian, to see our super priest with his excellent squad of a dozen spit-and-polish acolytes, who stand exactly "aright" and don't let their stoles go askew, who raise and lower the fans and cross with military precision, but don't "turn square corners" or look fussy at all.

You might have to get used to the little service book with the three columns, Greek, transliterated Greek and English--but that's no chore. It's a cinch to learn when to say "Kyrie eleison" and when to say "Soi, Kyrie", and everything else is a piece of cake after that. I guarantee you'd love our St. Demetrios' Church, and especially the coffee hour with the wonderful little pastries from Cyprus and the yummy Cephalonian munchies and gooshy, gooey galatoburrico. Slurp.

Leetle M.
(Rubs tummy happily and says Yum I am Orthodox!)

Ari said...

Prayers for you during Advent - hoping this will be a profitable time for you.

ferijen said...

Michael, I thought you had been quiet recently... and just had the presence of mind to check your blog. What a horrible time.

Prayers going for you...

Ian said...

Continued prayers.

Is everything on it's way to being sorted out?

Monkeywrenchmel said...

Some thoughts Michael, I don't know how helpful they may be.

One positive: your police actually dusted for prints. Here in the Bay Area, they honestly would not bother most of the time. Sounds like they were lovely and helpful.
The other thing is it is forcing you to reach you. I was concerned when I read you were not interacting much IRL and on the internet. Sorry to be a mother hen.

That sad, I am grieved, upset and angry somebody did this to you. I will pray.

How are you doing now?

Take care of yourself.


Anonymous said...

Yes, we are all praying and holding you in our best thoughts and hopes! You and your gorgeous blog mean a great deal to all of us, and it grieves us that there are people in this world who would do such a thing as to steal your laptop. How cruel, to someone who used their laptop only to help the rest of us! Grrrr! Leetle Masha is not happy.

We are not forgetting you, believe that, and believe that something good will come out of all this!



Jack the Lass said...

This is very late in the day, as at the moment I am only an occasional visitor, but I wanted to say how sorry I was to hear this. I had a similar thing happen to me twice in my last house in London - both times I'm sure the house had been watched so they knew when it was empty. The most recent time (the week before Christmas last year) the only thing that was taken was a bottle of champagne (can you believe that) but the burglar totally trashed the house and the sense of invasion was horrible, as you say. I was so relieved that he didn't want my PC (but then it's a huge clunky thing). But I was finding mud and glass (he chucked a ceramic plant pot through the window to get in) for months afterwards.

Praying for you.

Jackie x

The young fogey said...

Having seen my place burgled and vandalised earlier this year AND having my door smashed in this week by the fire brigade (because my senile neighbour smelt smoke - the poor dear burnt her toast) I know how you feel.

Merseymike said...

Can I be practical?

Your description of how you feel about going out is something I am more than familiar with from my past.

It may well be an indication of depression.

Get it checked out - better safe than sorry.

Mark said...

Sorry to hear about your break-in. What a horrible thing to happen.

I would second what merseymike's saying. Better safe than sorry indeed.

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