Having your home broken into can be an extremely traumatic experience, though you don’t always know quite how so until it happens to you directly. Similar to a mugging, which can often leave physical scars, a home invasion is known for leaving intense psychological wounds.
We wouldn’t wish anyone’s home to be burgled or broken into, but sadly it happens more regularly than we would like to admit. In the hope to educate you on what to expect and equip you with ways to move on afterwards, we’ve put together a helpful guide to address what victims are going through and how they can respond. Of course, it is worth considering that these reactions do not always take linear form and one persons experiences may be different to others.
What to expect emotions to expect from the experience
When something out of the ordinary happens that is distressing, it had be really hard accept and understand. If you’re finding it hard to wrap your head around what has happened or feel disconnected from the event and your feelings, then it could be you are in a state of shock. This is common in victims of break-ins, but usually doesn’t last long. If you report the incident, which we would suggest you do, speaking to the police will give a sense of reality and will also ensure you have someone by your side.
Denial is a strange emotion, as it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t accept that the incident took place, it may simply mean that you refuse to accept that it is bothering at all. You can only be in denial for so long, so though you may come across as strong and easy-going to others at the time, it is only delaying the healing process you will eventually need to go through to move on.
Fear is a dreaded stage that can cause you to feel anxious and on-edge in your own home, but it is also one that can easily be overcome with support and an installation of a new security system. Once your home is made safe again and loved ones are by your side, the unsettled feeling you have is sure to disappear.
The home is often seen as a sanctuary, so when a homeowner’s space is invaded it can cause them real anger issues. It’s normal to want to bring the person who did this to justice, but the trick is to use this anger as motivation where you can, but not to let it consume you. Try not to carry intense feelings of any kind around – embrace them, accept them and then work out ways to move past them.
It’s normal to feel a sense of loss when dealing with the aftermath of a break-in. Prized and personal possessions can be broken and stolen, some of which are sentimental and can never be replaced. The sadness will pass with time.
Tips on reacting to your emotions and moving on from the incident
- Get the right support
- Allow yourself to grieve
- Never give in to fear
- Stick to your normal routine
Use the above as a checklist to ensure you are doing everything you can to move on from the drama and distress of a break-in and you’ll be back to normal in no time.