About a year ago I was sitting at home by myself at about 6 P.M. This time of year it gets dark somewhat early, snow still on the ground. It was a fairly cold out still, so much so that you would feel uncomfortable if outside for too long. Now 6 P.M. probably isn't the time of day you'd expect anything weird to happen in your neighborhood, especially not with two cars in the driveway out front- but this is a true story and it did indeed happen to me.
I went into the kitchen to get some ice cream or cookies (who knows really what snack it was) and heard my dog Kato start barking furiously at the window. He was in an absolute panic. I could not calm him down for the life of me, and he only generally barks like this when someone is outside or around the house that he doesn't know. Upon looking out the window, I saw no one. Assuming that no one was there, I waited with him until he began to feel well enough to stop barking and then went into the bedroom to watch TV.
I still remember what I was watching. I was watching Supernatural, with Kato on the bed as close to me as possible. When I was about done snacking (around a half an hour later, maybe 45 minutes) I headed to the kitchen to put away my food and fill a glass of water. When I walked into the kitchen however, I froze dead in my tracks at what I saw outside the window.
Okay, so first let me explain how our house is set up. The living room window faces West, and is the main entrance of the house. The kitchen is opposite the living room and faces East, to the North of the kitchen is the laundry room which has a door attached that leads to the back yard. The laundry room is down a small set of steps from the kitchen. Directly outside of the door that leads to the back yard *From the laundry room* is a gate that leads from the front to back yard. This gate remains locked almost all of the time.
As I walked into the kitchen and saw through the door of the laundry room, I saw something in the window. Not something, someone. Outside of the window I saw a person- a person's shadow- trying to open that gate. Someone had been standing outside of the house trying to get through that gate for more than thirty minutes, ever since Kato had started barking back when it was still plenty light out.
By now it was mostly dark, and my panic had started to set in. Without knowing quite what I was going to do, I stood and watched the shadow of the guy moving for about a full minute before being able to move again. My brain then starts working in over time, and I think my only option is to flip the switch on every light in the house. I turn on the laundry room light after stepping out of the door way, and upon turning it back off see that the shadow is no longer there.
I run to the living room and turn on that light as well, then peer out the window. I see a thin man/young adult walking from beside the house across the front yard at a careless gait. I assume he thought I didn't even notice him there. I remember noticing the young man was wearing a black coat with fur around the hood, and he had the hood up. I believe he was wearing dark skinny jeans as well. From what I saw he appeared to be medium skin toned, not dark but not super light either. This is a person I can't recall having ever seen before.
After he's gone rather than grabbing the gun and running to the door like I want to, I am still not quite sure what's really going on. I frantically dial 911, only to get a non-chalant operator that wasn't in a hurry to assist me at all. I was put on hold not once, but twice.
The police officer that reported to the scene ended up showing up about an hour after it actually occurred. I showed him the boot prints of the man that had been standing outside, the snow making it quite obviously clear. He stayed for a grand total of about ten/fifteen minutes and left in a hurry.
Maybe I should say again that I was alone, not only at that point but the whole night.
A couple of weeks later I got home from my mom's house at about 8 P.M., locked all of the doors and got in the shower. Within about five minutes of getting in the shower I hear Kato start furiously barking once again, this time for a very long time in a very scared voice. I immediately turn off the shower and start looking for something to defend myself. At this point I'm unaware of whether someone has actually gotten in the house or not.
Taking a few minutes to gather myself I finally get the courage to step outside of the bathroom, though Kato is still barking. He's terrified. I run to the bedroom and grab the gun, and make my way into the living room. I look out the front window and see no one, but make my way around the rest of the house as well just in case to be sure. Afterwards, I do something that may have been incredibly stupid- I step outside gun in hand. I check around the front of the house, gun ready to go if I need it.
I never did see anyone that time. For quite some time actually I didn't see anyone again, at least not that I know of- though I'm quite sure a couple of different times I saw someone in the back yard that climbed the fence or hanging around.
About three months ago I saw a group of teenagers walking around the neighborhood with swords, axes, and other weapons.. weird? I would think so. Two boys and a girl, all similar to the description I gave earlier of what the suspect looked like. I'm guessing it has something to do with them, but don't know that I'll ever know for sure.
The reason I bring all of this up now is because I had an event a couple of nights ago that stirred back up all of that emotion. It seems like something that most people would be able to get over eventually, but watching someone trying to break into your house is not an easy thing to cope with. I couldn't eat or sleep for weeks afterwards.
I still jump at every little sound I hear. I still am more paranoid than you'd believe. I have a gun or tazer with me at any given moment if at all possible. It really does change your life.
A couple of nights ago at about 1:30 AM Kato started barking again the same way- this time waking me up. I was terrified and worried someone was back, but upon getting the gun out and dialing 911 I must've taken too long- I didn't see anyone outside.
We've also had someone come over and bang on the windows late at night, as well as someone try to open our front door right after we moved in. I make it sound like we live in a really bad neighborhood, but really we don't- it's just a few people that think they can take advantage of someone.
It's something that I personally have never gotten over. It's a fear I try to cope with every day. I still haven't learned how to deal with what has happened, and I don't know that I ever will. The attempted robbery was one of the worst experiences of my life, and definitely my worst nightmare come true. No one deserves to have something like that happen to them.