Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Seventh Post - Break-In Part One

So, how was your day?

You may dimly recall that I am in Toastmasters, a public speaking organization with thousands of clubs world wide. I have been doing this for a long time now.

From time to time we invite guest speakers to our club to talk about what they do for a living. We have invited the mayor, people from various radio stations in town, politicians, and others.

Tonight, we invited a friend from my previous job, who talked about conditional sentencing, or what people like to call house arrest, as well as sentence calculation with respect to both adults and "yutes", as Joe Pesci would say.

This was fascinating stuff, believe it or not. It was of particular interest to me because my house was broken into this summer by a young person. He has opted, and I have a right to participate in, restorative justice. This is a process whereby the young person and his/her support system, sits down with the victim (me, and my support system) and a facilitator or two to discuss what the young person did, and why and how he feels about it.

To the extent that I am able to, without getting in trouble with the law or whatever, I will use this blog as a forum for what I go through, and what this has been like for me so far.

The facts are laid out in the statement I swore out to the police officer who came to my home. That is the official record; any discrepancy here is due to the passage of time and my desire to put this behind me. I will try to get it right.

When I came home late one night in late August and was informed by a neighbour that a young person in the neighbourhood, whom I had known for years due to his proximity to my home, had broken into my house, I panicked. I ran into my house, fearful that my cat had been killed or something. I might find him hanging in a closet somewhere. I had been told by my neighbour that a couple jars of loose change had been stolen as well as my wine. All 3 bottles. I'm such a lush.

I tore through my house, found my cat, hugged him nearly to death, and tried to find what else had been taken. The only thing I found amiss was a piece of trim on the door frame downstairs had been ripped away and thrown on the floor. More on this stuff later.

I spoke to another neighbour, who knew nothing about it, but surmised that it had been so and so. And he was right, such is this young person's reputation around here.

You can imagine, perhaps, how I felt, going over to the young man's parents' home to talk about what had happened. I have known them for years, the whole family, and felt invaded and sick. The mother didn't want to talk to me, but the father did. His son had been seen breaking into my home, and then exiting by the same method he had used to enter. He had rolled the change(except for the pennies; even thieves don't want them now!) and drunk the wine. He'd been caught, intoxicated, by the police, who handcuffed him, took him to hq to be fingerprinted, photographed and released on his parents' recognizance.

I am not sure how much detail I can go into here. I'll just say that I have had good days and bad days since then. Days when I don't feel safe in my own home. Days when I alternate between wanting to yell at that boy for what he took from me (wine, change, and security), and wanting to ask him what he was thinking, and why he did it. And, because of this restorative justice process he is embarking upon, and in which I will participate, I will get that opportunity.

I am looking forward to it.

No comments: