It’s been a very trying year. In addition to added job stress and family health issues, Eric and I have been attacked on a personal level by a number of thefts far beyond what I could have ever expected could be shoved into such a time period.
Last September Eric called me at a work function to let me know that he’s bike had been stolen off our back porch – while he was home with the back door open to let the fall air in. My stomach dropped. Not only was this the second bike stolen, but the brazen thief or thieves had managed to enter our gated building area to make off with a bike almost completely obscured from any sight lines outside our building area.
Only two months later – just days before Thanksgiving – another thief managed to swipe my wallet from out of my purse while I was grabbing a quick lunch with a friend. Heartbroken. Bank accounts frozen, fraud department phone calls, more police reports, identity gone. These things, they do happen. BUT, then a week later, my cell phone was gone. One minute it was in my hand as I checked the time, a cab ride later – it was gone. Calls to the cab company, text messages to please return to me, GUYS – I actually tracked the same cab down a week later and searched his backseat. Nothing.
What a horrible way to ring out 2011. Surely 2012 was going to be a year of good karma and positive energy for me, right?
Wrong. On New Year’s Eve someone walked into a bank in Michigan and drained our saving account. Gone. This theft was probably tied into my stolen wallet from a month before, and the bank did return the money to us, but there I was again, fraud departments and police reports. My new life.
And just when things were starting to look up, a couple weeks ago my bank cancelled my card because of suspected fraud. Yup. A charge in Florida? I’m in Chicago. WISH I was in Florida right now. It’s great when I walk into my branch, mention the word fraud – and my banker says “Didn’t I just take care of this for you?” There must be something going around, because then a week later, they flagged Eric’s account for a purchase in California. So he gets a new card too. Going through three bank cards in one year because of various frauds is normal right?
But what hits me the hardest is the most recent theft. (Yes. You read that right. There is a theft MORE RECENT than a week and a half ago.)
Someone stole the package of Christmas presents mailed up to Chicago by my mom. How low is that? I’m hurt that someone would take a hand mailed box from our front porch. (And just to clarify – we’ve moved since that bike theft.) So my culprits are my mailman, my neighbors, or a stranger – aided by a neighbor or mailman who didn’t close the front door all the way leaving it unlocked.
It was nothing of great material value – a couple of children’s books, some Christmas ornaments, and cloth napkins – but more the pain that these were the presents my mom picked out specially because she knew we would love them. It’s not some iPad you can resell on ebay and make a huge profit. And there was a check – which (though post dated for Christmas Day) has been cashed. Hence how we know the box was stolen and not just lost by the USPS. So I’m horribly upset that my bad luck with thieves this year has rubbed off on my parents who now have to deal with their own fraud departments and, even worse, the USPS insurance claims.
The material aspect of these thefts is not what shakes me up. Money-wise, yes, having to purchase a new bike for Eric was a decent financial blow, but we’ve received all the money back stolen from our bank accounts. Other than that, it’s more to the annoyance and gut wrenching feeling that you’ve been violated.
I’m trying to stay strong and move on after each theft, but the idea that someone can profit from my misery just ties my stomach into knots every time I think about what these thieves have taken from me emotionally and physically over the past year. So I can’t say I’m really sad to see 2012 go. I’m ready for 2013 and a break from all these people who are glad to see me so low.
Enjoy your bike, and your cash, and your wallet, and your children’s books, and your Christmast ornaments. I hope you get caught. And I really hope you forget all about me and the things you’ve taken from me, because I’m trying my hardest to not think about you.
…And I still wish you’d return that wallet. It’s was the best one I’ve ever had.