Thou Shalt Not . . .

To the person who broke into my house on Tuesday night while I was out at work . . . I hope the Oxycontin was worth it. Or the meth, or the heroin, or whatever ruinous substance to which you are enslaved. To you  . . . who took a crowbar to my window and busted the lock . . . who ransacked my bedroom, emptied all my drawers, and stuffed into your goody bag my laptop, my Nikon digital SLR camera, my diamond engagement ring and wedding band from my 1998 marriage, and the silver bracelet which was a cherished gift from my last boyfriend . . . To you . . . who shoved off all the perfume bottles on my vanity as a framed photo of my dead father surveilled your crimes . . . To you . . . who in your manic hunt for cash and jewelry, rifled through love letters and cards and personal mementos . . . To you . . . who, in a panic, collided with my kitchen garbage can and knocked it over in the final seconds before you fled my home, and exited right out the front door . . . To you . . . who has put fear and unease into me that I will never be rid of . . . who has victimized and violated a person who did nothing to you . . . who has instilled in me a level of distress and anxiety that has so far prevented me from sleeping one wink during the evening hours since this incident, in my own home, on my quiet residential street. To you  . . . who has forced me to consider paying thousands of dollars – that I don’t have – for an alarm system, without which I will never feel safe again. To you . . . you lost, broken soul . . . I offer my sincere prayers . . . that you might find yourself someday living a life where you have better things to do on a weeknight than steal from strangers . . . that you may earn money, as I was doing on 13th Street while you were invading my house . . . To you . . . whose footprints were shown to me by the police and their flashlights in my backyard . . . the tracks you left in the snow . . . I truly hope and pray that you find the strength to get better . . . and leave your “footprints” in this life of a different sort.

35 thoughts on “Thou Shalt Not . . .

  1. Maria says:

    I am so sorry Claudia that you have had to experience this ugly side of humanity but your retaliation is words-worthy and you have shown class by your forgiveness. Good for you– Shame on him.
    Don’t know what else to say but–been there–and have lived the moments like you have…its going to take awhile before you feel safe within your skin again but you will. I promise you.

    Be well.

    Maria

    • artmodel says:

      Maria,

      Thank you so much for your warm, comforting comments. I can’t let anger and fear weaken me more than it already has. His desperation was evident in the mess he left behind, and desperation is a state that drives people to do terrible things. It’s very sad.

      I believe you that I will, eventually, feel safe again. I just hope it comes back soon. Again, thank you 🙂

      Claudia

  2. artmodelandrew says:

    Oh no! That’s horrible! 😦

  3. scultore says:

    Sorry to hear that that such a thing has happened, I wish I had words that would help ease the insult, other than that there are good people all around and the joy you carry through life is more important

  4. Bill says:

    That is horrible . . . I’m really sorry. I don’t know what to say either — I’m just so relieved that you weren’t home at the time — it doesn’t sound like the burglar was looking for a confrontation. Maria is right — you will feel safe again.

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      You’re right about the burglar not looking for a confrontation. The cops said the same thing. The guys who do this just want to get in and out as fast as possible, and he gambled correctly that no one was home. Still pissed at myself for not leaving a light on. I’m just relieved that I didn’t walk in on him while the burglary was still in progress.

      Thanks so much for commenting. Yours and all the comments here have been great consolation to me.

      Claudia

  5. Grier Horner says:

    What a terrible invasion of your life and your past.

  6. Dave says:

    I’m so sorry, Claudia. I know the odds are long, but I hold out hope that the burglar is caught and your items are recovered. And I hope you can quickly regain the sense of security that was stolen so brazenly from you.

    Dave

    • artmodel says:

      Dave,

      Thank you for your comments. If I had to chose between getting back the stolen objects or the sense of security, I’d choose the security in a heartbeat. Don’t know if they’ll catch the guy but we’ll see.

      Claudia

  7. Peta says:

    I am terribly sorry what has happened to you
    My prayers and thoughts are with you mate
    Stay Strong and be safe and I hope that old bugger will be brought to justice.Good will prevail the evil.
    Luv ya.

    Peta
    Brisbane, Australia

    • artmodel says:

      Peta,

      Good to hear from you. I can feel your support from Australia 🙂
      A home break-in is definitely an unpleasant trauma to go through. But I have been living here for almost 15 years and this is the first crime of any kind I’ve experienced in this neighborhood. So I suppose I’m lucky in that regard.

      Thanks for your comments, and love to Dad!

      Claudia

  8. peter howard says:

    Really, really sorry to hear about the break in. Not much constructive advice I can give but you are in my thoughts here in soggy England. x x

  9. fredh1 says:

    Makes me feel sick to hear that, Claudia. You have all my sympathy.

  10. Lynn Kauppi says:

    Claudia

    My deepest sympathy. I’m so proud of you that you have chosen the better alternative of hope and prayer instead of anger and hatred.
    Unfortunately you will have to talk to wiser minds than I about feeling safe again. I had a relatively mild case of PTSD for a number of years, but it eased over time. My hope and prayer is that your sense of security and peace of mind will return.

    Grace and peace

    Lynn

    • artmodel says:

      Lynn,

      Great to hear from you. I’m sorry to hear about your PTSD, that’s tough. I’m gradually starting to feel better. Tomorrow will be one week since the break-in. The detective handing my case came over yesterday and he was very helpful.

      Peace of mind is something many of us take for granted, unfortunately. When it’s disturbed, even temporarily, we realize how priceless it is; far more valuable than jewelry and cameras.

      Thank you so much for comments. Hope you’re feeling well.

      Claudia

  11. Rob says:

    Claudia-So awful! Can’t imagine my heart would be as understanding in the face of such turmoil. It seems you are a special person. I hope it all clears up for you soon.

  12. T.O. Fife says:

    So sorry to read this update. I feel for you, as our house was broken into years ago. It isn’t just that you lost physical items . . . you feel violated. Also, as I hate work, I figured up how much we lost and how long I had to work to pay for that stuff and I realized that was like serving a prison sentence. My mind works oddly at times. All that to say, I certainly commiserate with you Claudia. With time the anger does dim a bit, but you will become more cautious . . . which I guess is a good thing.
    Todd from Kentucky

    • artmodel says:

      Todd,

      Yes, violation is the best word to describe this whole thing. The detective told me that he does, quite often, recover stolen items and has caught culprits in the past few months. So there’s a glimmer of hope in that regard. Like I mentioned in an above comment, I live in a neighborhood where there is almost no violent crime at all. Home burglary is not a violent crime. In 15 years living here this is the only incident that I’ve experienced. If I can go another 15 with nothing happening, then that’s pretty good 🙂

      Thanks for your comments.

      Claudia

  13. Ed says:

    I’m so sorry to read this blog entry. But your lucid words distinguish you from him and I hope you will regain a sense of security and confidence soon.
    Ed

  14. Brian says:

    At the very least, you were not there. And, you were not harmed. And, you can recover. And while the emotional pain and fear is real, and your physical possessions are missing, that you are here is still something to be grateful for. In the meantime, check your homeowner’s policy – you might be covered for some of the loss. I wish I could be of more help.

    • artmodel says:

      Brian,

      Your wonderful comments are plenty of help, thank you so much. I have spoken to the insurance company and things should work out ok. I’m feeling better with each day, my fears and anxiety are gradually fading. Shit happens, and we get through it. It really means a lot to hear from you 🙂

      Claudia

  15. Diane Elizabeth Wilson says:

    Dear Claudia,.
    I feel a kinship with you, as a fellow struggling model. Many a word of support and inspiration you have given us all.
    Things are only things, but they were also the tools of your trade from which we have all benefitted in your wonderful sharings week after week. I would be interested in contributing to a fund to cover some of your losses as a token of appreciation and as a friend.
    Elizabeth.

    • artmodel says:

      Elizabeth,

      You are incredibly thoughtful and kind. I could never accept money from readers of this blog, but I thank you from the bottom of my heart for offering to help. I have an insurance policy so we’ll see how that goes. Believe me, your words of warmth and compassion are more valuable than anything I could ask for.

      In kinship, from one model to another, thank you so much 🙂

      Claudia

  16. Jennifer says:

    I was so sorry to read about the burglary and also for not commenting at the time. My mother is unfortunately back in hospital and I read your blog on my phone, where it’s much harder to comment. My mother lost all of her sentimental jewellery in a burglary just over a year ago (deliberately targeted because she’s elderly and was then living alone), so it resonated all the more to read that you’d experienced such a violation of the sanctuary of your home. But noting the comment above, it’s something at least not to have been there. My mother was brazenly burgled mid-evening while she was in the house, but deafness stopped her getting up to see what the noise was that she thought she’d heard, so it all could have been a lot worse. This burglary was certainly the last thing that you needed after such a tough year, but your optimism and faith in humanity do you proud and will carry you through. Take good care of yourself and hopefully after this things will be on the up again for you.

    • artmodel says:

      Jennifer,

      That is absolutely horrible what happened to your mother, that she was home when the burglary took place! Thank god they didn’t hurt her. Elderly folks are particularly vulnerable. My mom lives alone and I worry about her all the time. Also sorry to hear that you mom is back in hospital. She’s lucky to have you caring for her.

      Thank you so much for your compassion and kindness. It’s true, that after a rough year I definitely could have done without this! But we just have to weather these storms. Great to hear from you Jennifer 🙂

      Claudia

  17. Ken says:

    It seems that, in the time since you posted this, you have continued to move forward with your rare, awesome, compassionate outlook. I compliment you on your forgiveness of the soul and situation of the burglar. And, most importantly,in that forgiveness, by not letting that violation of your home ruin your life.

    You are incredible.

    • artmodel says:

      Ken,

      I’m not incredible, but I appreciate the comment! You are too kind. This post was tough to write at the time. I remember warring mightily with my anger – rage even – over the incident. But more complex feelings took hold of me, and in composing these words I felt some sense of release and a first step toward moving past it.

      Thanks for much for your comments.

      Claudia

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