Last week I watched a YouTube video by Jacey from Damsel in Dior about her fear of staying home alone. I’ve definitely been there and still sort of feel a little unsettled being home alone at night. Luckily Paul is usually home at night but on the rare occasion he is out of town and I have to be home alone I basically sleep with one eye open. Watching Jacey’s video inspired me to share my story about getting broken into while at home…sleeping.

The first place Paul & I lived in together was a two-story house in the Hollywod Hills overlooking the Hollywood Bowl. You can actually see the house from the 101 freeway, it’s a very recognizable house. It’s a long story why / how we lived there, but to make a long story short we only lived on the top level since that is where our bedroom was, along with the kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc. The downstairs remained completely empty and I always got a little creeped out going down there at night. It just gave me weird vibes.

It was a Saturday morning in November and we still had some balloons floating around the house since I had just celebrated my (23rd) birthday. Since we only lived upstairs we had a security system we enabled at night with motion detectors downstairs, and they were activated by the balloons a couple times by mistake. So, it’s Saturday morning and I’m woken up by the alarm going off. I nudge Paul to go turn them off, thinking nothing of it due to the false alarms we’d had before. He sleepwalks downstairs to deal with the alarm and once it’s silenced I hear him walking around downstairs (checking everything out). I immediately shut my eyes to go back to sleep until I hear him talking to someone. My eye SHOT open trying to listen but I couldn’t make anything out. A few seconds later he comes running up the stairs yelling for me to call the police that “someone is in the house!”

My heart is LITERALLY pounding as I type this because I will never forget the feeling of sheer terror in my body that day. The adrenaline pulsing through me was something I’ve never experienced (& hope to never experience again). Service was absolute SHIT up in the hills so we had to use a landline while living there. I bolted for the phone and dialed 9-1-1 with shaking, trembling hands. As they asked me ‘what my emergency was’ I tried my best to speak but found myself stuttering and unable to form a comprehensive sentence. Meanwhile, as I’m struggling on the phone with the police I sat on our bed watching Paul frantically pull pants on.

Sidenote, we had a large window next to our bed that overlooked the driveway and street. I was sitting up against the window at this point. As Paul made his way to the bedroom door I screamed, “where are you going?!” and he was gone. Great communication, RICHARD!!! I was still on the phone with the police when I see Paul get into his car and leave the house. My heart probably stopped. I became even more hysterical as I tried to explain to the operator that my boyfriend just left me alone in the house. They advised me to lock the door and stay on the phone with them and that they were on the way.

As I said above, we had a landline due to the poor cell service, and few minutes later I get a call waiting and see it’s Paul calling. I clicked over about to LOSE MY SHIT when he yells for me to send the police down the street, that he caught the guy. WTF?! Apparently the guy tried to make a run for it but Paul chased him and held him down until the police got there and arrested him.

Obviously, I was traumatized. I remember being in Mexico a couple weeks later and crying the day before coming home because I was so scared to go home. I hated being there alone, and there was zero chance I was being left alone during the nights. This is when I got my dog, Olive. Yeah, he’s yappy AF so it worked. We only lasted a few short months longer in the house before we moved. As for the guy, he was a drug addict that had multiple burglaries on his record. He wasn’t threatening due to the drugs, which is why Paul felt comfortable chasing him down. There are still a few unsolved mysteries about that day. The upstairs sliding doors we were open, yet the guy broke in downstairs and never make it upstairs. There were also a row of boulders lined up on the window sill (upstairs), as if someone was going to attempt breaking the window. I think there was a second person involved that fled the scene in time.

It’s a very scary thing to go through. I was terrified for months. Following that experience we lived in a secure apartment building for 4 years. I finally felt comfortable being alone while living there. When we moved into our current house I insisted on cameras and a crazy security system. While I do feel safe now, it’s never easy to sleep alone at home, but thankfully I don’t have to do it too often. Has anyone ever experienced something like this? If so, I would love to know what you did to get over the fear.