Thursday, March 12, 2009

What would you do?


I faced my worst nightmare last week. In fact, now that I am in Portland, and staying in my youngest daughter's home, do I even feel like talking about it. 

My daughter, home sick, had just gone to bed. She had been in bed about twenty minutes when she heard someone enter the house. She called out to her roommate, no answer. She called her roommate's name again. No answer, but she heard footsteps coming down the hall. She entered the hall and there was a man. A tall, gangly man standing in her hall. She screamed out at him something to the effect: "What the hell are you doing in my house?" He turned around and walked out, shutting the door behind him.

Since then, her roommate said she thought she had noticed a man in their backyard a while back, but "thought he was talking to my daughter through her window." (In the middle of the night.) These are college girls. So I am not going to go into what I thought about that statement, or the fact my daughter wasn't quite sure the door was locked before she went to bed. I am beyond amazed. Have I not taught them anything? Have I not emphasized safety, above all else?? Have I not told the story over and over of the peeping tom/stalker I dealt with for months when I was single and living alone? What exactly do I have to do to get them to take living alone seriously in this day and age? (I came home today and opened the unlocked door, walking right in on my daughter's young roommate. She said she thought it was such a pretty day, that it couldn't possibly include an intruder.)

So now what? The locks have been changed, additional door locks added, windows checked, but should I get her something to carry in her purse? Pepper spray, a taser? If anything happened to her, I know I would wish I had done that. So what would you do?

15 comments:

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Pray. That is the first thing that popped into my head. You did your best to teach her and as hard as it might be you have to trust that she learned from you. On a more practical note, a different roommate might not be a bad idea. The roommate seems to be unaffected by the incident.

Cheryl Ann said...

I agree. Get a different roommate for your daughter. THIS one hasn't a clue. Our daughter went to school at UCLA and had a couple of different apartments in Westwood and West LA...I never stopped worrying about her.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

1. Get rid of the roommate or move her to somewhere else

2. Buy her a gun and that's coming from a previously anti-gun Brit'!

Hilary said...

I don't think she should be equipped with anything that can easily be used against her. A self-defense course might not be a bad idea. Kids.. they just don't see around those corners yet. They're invincible. You might get some ideas from this web page. Most important is stressing the urgency of the situation. And you might want to consider asking her about her recent online connections. She may be providing more personal information than she realizes. So many kids do. Good luck.

Reya Mellicker said...

Holy sh**. Thank God she's OK.

Remember being in college? I didn't believe anything could hurt me.

Besides all the locks, a big dog with a scary bark is always the very best protection. When jake was younger and very fierce, I'm absolutely certain he would have died trying to defend me. He was (still is) a wonderful companion on walks to the corner store in the evening.

Don't know how your daughter feels about dogs, but they're great protection, and wonderfully humanizing, too.

Wow. So glad she's OK!

Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrea said...

I agree with the dog theory - just the bark alone may scare this guy off. I also agree with the new roommate theory. Has she considered a male friend as a roommate?

Star said...

I would tell her a story that would frighten her, big time. No half measures now!!
Blessings, Star

Jeninacide said...

She HAS a dog. A worthless dog who slept through the ENTIRE intrusion. She needs a new, fierce dog.

She is moving in with me in June. I lock doors fanatically. I will keep her safe.

linda said...

I can imagine how you feel, having a daughter myself.....I can only echo what everyone else has said although studies in these things have proven a dog is priceless for chasing intruders away fast...

I think she might go for the martial arts class too...I would imagine it has to be something she will participate in...I don't envy your position....

CQA said...

Why don't they feel the same fears we do!? Our B is 22 and lives thousands of miles away from us. We work so hard to build attachment with our kids, then have to live the rest of our lives letting go.
So glad your daughter is safe.

California Girl said...

Back during my college days, my girlfriend lived @ the beach in a 1 BR bungalow. Some guy climbed through the window one night & tried to rape her. She kept her head, moved him close to her bureau where she had a can of hairspray. She sprayed his eyes and ran out of the apt. She was very lucky. In reading through the suggestions it sounds like she's moving in with someone new (not sure if Jeninacide is your other daughter?) and already has a dog. I wish I'd taken a self protection class but pepper spray sounds reasonable. Also, what do the police or a local women's organization say about preventive measures?

TheChicGeek said...

Oh my, that's so scary about your daughter. I'm glad they changed the locks!

Concord Carpenter said...

Have your daughter take the R.A.D [Rape Agression Defense] class offered at most colleges and police departments.

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