Yesterday was a good day. I woke up, watched a little of The Today Show, washed and dried and curled and flat ironed my hair (it's a procedure, but I’m always glad when it’s done), went to work and had a productive day. Cleared a lot of things off my desk that had been sitting there waiting and staring at me for weeks, laughed a lot with staff, went to lunch with board members – all in all, just a great day.
At about 5:00 most of our staff members left for home or work at our other office (our Heart Program for child-victims of sexual abuse is held on Tuesday nights) and the rest of us (not surprisingly to those of you in the trade, the “rest of us” was the development staff) were finishing up luncheon talk, paperwork, etc.
At 5:10, things changed.
As the next 5 minutes whizzed by, Joanna, Natalie Farr, and I discovered that we had had an intruder, pressed our panic button, and the Meadows Foundation Security had Dallas Police officers at our office.
Luckily, we think all that was taken was from my purse: about $175 in cash, a Visa credit card, and my cell phone. We thought the whole wallet was gone, but one of the police officers found the wallet with most of its contents in a trash can in our men’s room.
Yes, I’m pissed and since we thought the wallet was totally gone, I had already called my bank and will now have to go to the bank this morning and open up a new account. I’ll have to change all my auto-drafts. I’ll have to buy a new phone (And of course, I don’t believe in cell phone insurance, so there goes a good chunk of change that wasn’t in my budget this month!). I guess I’ll have to re-enter all my phone numbers, etc. into the phone. I cried this morning at the grocery store when the check-out woman wished me a good day. I shook my head and thought any day would be better than yesterday.
I just don’t feel as safe as I felt at 5:09 yesterday.
This must be how it feels every day for children living with abuse and neglect. They feel violated. They feel scared. Never knowing what a parent will do next. Never knowing what monster is around the next corner. Never feeling a moment of peace, of security.
Of course, it could have been so much worse – one of us could have interrupted the intruder and who knows what might have happened? Other staff members’ stuff could have been taken. The clothing, shoes, car seats, and more that we have for our kids at CPD might have been taken. But, I still feel violated.
I’ll get over this and I know that I am terribly lucky. But I don’t think that all of the 16,000 kids we’ll serve this year will be as lucky. And for that, I’m still pissed.