A person's home is sacred territory. At least that's the way I look at it. I mean just think about it. When everything is said and done, the home (or the room if you live with roommates) is a person's only real place that belongs just to them. The only place that they can exercise complete dominion over. We choose to believe our homes are safe because it's comforting, but it's not always the case. Sadly, a lesson one of my roommates and I had to learn the hard way.
I currently rent a house with three other guys. What sort of makes this house unique is that a good majority of my friends have all lived in it at one point or another. Generally, a few guys live in the house for a while, get married, move out, and another friend of the group moves in. Because of this, the house has an almost communal feel to it. While we do lock up at night and whenever we leave, friends often walk in without needing to knock, coming and going as they please. And we welcome the "interruptions". We've always been pretty laid back.
In the last few months, however, my attitude has changed drastically. Back in April we had a couple thousand dollars worth of electronics equipment stolen from our house. I'm not going to go into specifics, but we know who took the stuff and we know who, at the very least, provided the opportunity for the stuff to be taken. The funny thing is, that it's not the stuff that was stolen that bothers me the most. In fact, there were far more valuable items that weren't even touched. What really pisses me off is that my room and my personal space was intruded upon. What upsets me is that my sense of security was taken from me. What is really unfortunate is that my willingness to be apart of this communal house experience is now completely gone.
The simple fact is that I can no longer relax in my own house. I've had to go out and buy my own locks for my door, I have to lock the house up even if everyone else is still there when I leave, and I find it hard to trust people my roommates bring over. Simply put, my house no longer feels like a home. And it likely will not for some time.
posted by Christopher Schnese