How to cope with the emotional trauma of burglary
There are few invasions of privacy quite as disturbing as having your house burgled.
Anyone who has experienced home intrusion of this kind will be aware of the emotional trauma that often follows, and in this post, we’re going consider how that might manifest itself and what you can do to cope, recover and thrive.
If your house is burgled, you may have one or several of the following reactions:
It’s not unusual to feel a wave of anger once you discover your home has been broken into.
After the initial shock, you may feel a strong desire to find the person responsible, or even blame someone else for the break-in.
Seeking blame for such a crime is perfectly normal, but it’s important not to let the anger consume you. Embrace it, but lean on those close to you and the assistance of the police to ensure the anger doesn’t take over.
Disbelief and denial
‘Has this really happened? Surely someone hasn’t actually broken into the house and helped themselves to our possessions?!’
In the aftermath of a burglary, it’s often difficult to get your head around what has happened. It’s so unexpected, traumatic and shocking that you may feel an overwhelming sense of denial.
Accepting you’ve been burgled isn’t easy. And that doesn’t mean you end up believing it’s an illusion – but it is common to inadvertently deny it’s had an impact.
This may come through in your conversations; if people tell you how strong you’re being and how well you’re coping, but you feel differently deep down.
Once you’ve had time to process what’s happened and have moved from denial to acceptance, you may feel a sense of loss and sadness. This usually comes from having lost items that are of high sentimental value.
Putting a value on such possessions is impossible, and while you’ll likely always feel sad for their loss, it’s important to remember that you can move on without them. Just allow yourself to grieve for the loss, no matter how long it takes – it’s perfectly normal.
The fact that your home has been invaded may leave you with a sense of fear. Our homes are supposed to be safe havens, and the thought of a criminal having gained access can be very unsettling.
It’s common for the victim of a burglary to feel anxious about being alone in their home. This is where the support of loved ones is vital, although if you feel your safety is at risk, make the police aware.
Five great ways to conquer the emotional trauma that follows a burglary:
1. Seek support
Support comes in many forms. Reach out to your friends, family members or the team at Voice when you need to talk. We’re here to help!
As noted above, you may experience a raft of emotions following the burglary. Embrace each one; if you need to cry – cry. If you need to hit a punch bag – do so.
3. Don’t allow fear to consume you
Feeling afraid after a burglary is totally normal, but don’t let it control you. Take action to protect yourself and those around you.
4. Don’t give up your routine
Maintaining your routine following traumatic events is a vital part of the recovery process. Try to get back to normality as soon as you can. But, if you need to take some time out to deal with everything, do so – overdoing it won’t help!
5. Be kind to yourself
It’s natural to feel self-pity when you’re a victim of crime, but don’t give into it. Eat well, exercise regularly and surround yourself with people you love.
Dealing with burglary is a process. It’s therefore important to be kind to yourself and embrace every emotion you feel. But we all need help and support every now and again. If you’d like to talk to an independent, friendly voice, our team is here for you. Simply give us a call, whenever you’re ready.