An open letter to the people who robbed me
To the arseholes who robbed me five days before Christmas,
I have never known anger so consuming to that of what I felt walking into my bedroom that night. You came into my house, into my bedroom and stole my things. You touched my clothes. You went through my underwear. You made a mess of my space trying to find some kind of quick fix.
Judging by what you took, you needed money. You took my birthday cash and the packet of cigarettes I bought when I was drunk. The lighter too. But I couldn’t care less about that shit. You took a bracelet that I was given the day I was born. You took a ring that my entire family chipped in for. I had 22 years of gifts and things that I’d worked hard for and saved to buy, and you just walked in and took them from me.
I have never shouldered so much rage.
That night I kept questioning, what if I had come straight home after work and not gone Christmas shopping? Would you have seen that I was home and not decided to fuck up my evening or would I have been in danger? I was mad at myself. If I had come straight home maybe it wouldn’t have happened. Then what if I had, would I have run into you? Could you have been violent or are you just cruel?
My anger soon moved to fear. I discovered the house by myself. My housemate, whose room you also destroyed, wasn’t home. I saw the back door that you kicked in, it was still open. You want to know what I felt? I felt weak. What if you were still there, what would I have done? What would you have done? I stood there staring vacantly at the back door. I couldn’t move. Could you see me? Did you see how frightened I was? I hate that you made me feel like that.
After the police came and told us that we weren’t “the only robbery that night and we won’t be the last”, I cried. My housemate did too. She is one of the strongest women I know, and you made her crumble. She had a treasure trove of family jewellery, things with sentimental value that you’ll never care to understand.
I cried more and more as I remembered everything that I no longer had. Everything that a stranger took from me. You didn’t take our laptops or our cameras, but a part of me wishes you had. I could have replaced those, but I can’t replace that you stole.
The police told me I couldn’t touch my room until they collected fingerprints, which wouldn’t happen until the next morning. Because of you I couldn’t sleep in my own bed. I couldn’t clean up the mess that you made. While my boyfriend packed a bag for me, I attempted to gain some clarity. But I felt nothing. I was numb. I couldn’t bare to be in my own home for a second longer. I didn’t feel safe anymore.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I kept thinking of you rummaging through my world with entitlement. Placing your grubby hands on my possessions as you decided what to take and what to destroy.
After days of writing lists, filing police reports and dealing with insurance, I thought I’d be in a state of sadness and fear forever. I became paranoid of every single person who walked by my house and every single person who looked at me. The faith I had for people vanished in an instant.
I had to keep reminding myself that it was just ‘things’ you took and while I desperately want them back, I can’t allow someone to make me feel angry and upset for the rest of my life. Especially someone who steals a vibrator.
Who steals a used sex toy? Wake up to yourself.
I don’t see the point in saying I will never forgive you, because why would that matter to someone like you? Instead I will say that I feel sorry for you. Sorry that you felt it was okay to violate my space and take my things. That you felt it was okay to disrupt our lives for your own selfish gain.
But you want to know something?
I have come to realise that while this experience left me shattered, I have gained some strength. I will not let this prevent me from enjoying the life I have built here, my first home away from home. I refuse to let you ruin the love I have for this house. Why? Because you don’t deserve to have a hold over me. I really wish I had a sophisticated and inspiring way to end this letter to you.
But all I want to say is a sincere and emphatic, fuck you.
Michaela Wagland is a journalism graduate from Newcastle. She is totally
enthused by green tea and nothing satisfies her more than a nice, long run. She loves English history and is obsessed with Sherlock Holmes. Don’t ask her why, she’s not sure herself. You can lurk her