NOW WHAT?

Strate­gies to Move Be­yond the Bur­glary

Home Defender - - Contents - By Thomas J. Nardi, Ph.D. Thomas J. Nardi, Ph.D., is a psy­chol­o­gist and cer­ti­fied Cri­sis Man­age­ment Spe­cial­ist. He is the Di­rec­tor of the Grad­u­ate Coun­sel­ing Pro­grams for Long Is­land Univer­sity Hud­son’s Rock­land and West Point cam­puses.

It was a rough day at work. To make mat­ters worse, the traffic on the way home was worse than usual. You are re­ally look­ing for­ward to a quiet and re­lax­ing evening at home.

But, wait, some­thing is wrong. The door is not locked. You start to walk in­side. Oh, no! The place has been ran­sacked. You’ve been robbed! Now what?

01 GET OUT.

The bur­glars might still be there. This is no time for hero­ics. They might be armed. Call the po­lice from out­side. Let them dis­cover if the cul­prits are still there.

02 IDEN­TIFY YOUR­SELF.

When you call the po­lice, tell them what you look like, what you are wear­ing and let them know you will be out­side your home. When they ar­rive, ap­proach them slowly and calmly. Keep your hands where they can see them. You don’t want to be mis­taken for the bad guy.

03 DON’T SEC­OND-GUESS.

This is not the time for sec­ond guess­ing. Avoid the “tyranny of the should.” “I should have got­ten an alarm,” “I should have known this would hap­pen,” etc.

Self-blame won’t undo what has hap­pened. It will only make you feel worse.

04 LOOK FOR­WARD, NOT BACK­WARD.

Don’t waste emo­tional en­ergy on what you didn’t do; fo­cus on what you will do next. Home­owner’s in­surance? Alarm sys­tems? The old adage is true: It is bet­ter late, than never.

05 GET HELP.

Anger, fear and de­pres­sion are com­mon strong emo­tions af­ter a break-in. You may bom­bard your­self with ques­tions. “Why me?” “What if they re­turn?” “How could they do this to me?” Re­search on Post-Trau­matic Stress Dis­or­der (PTSD) in­di­cates that the sooner some­one can de­brief with a pro­fes­sional coun­selor, the less chance of de­vel­op­ing PTSD. Don’t be reluc­tant to seek pro­fes­sional help.

06 STAY POS­I­TIVE.

Re­mind your­self that it cer­tainly could have been worse. You are alive. Pos­ses­sions can be re­placed. Re­as­sure your­self that you will get through this; you are stronger than you think. Re­mem­ber, even the worse night­mare even­tu­ally ends. HD

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