Outdoors Magazine

Crimes, Cops and Being A Victim

By Hikingwithheather @HikingHeather
Standing in my backyard at 6:30am this morning, I watched the sky turn a pinky-peach hue as the sun began to rise, taking in deep breaths of cool morning air and tilting my head up towards the sky to see the vibrant half-moon directly above with a faint star just off to its left while I reflected on the events of last night...
Up way past my bedtime last night (on a weeknight!) I found myself getting to know my new neighbor while we stood in a pile of broken glass in my driveway as a police officer took down our statements with red and blue lights bouncing off our faces. Not the most ideal way to get to know a new neighbor, but on the plus side I now know that she's the kind of person who will call 9-1-1 when she sees some punk casually smash in the back window of your car as he strolls down the sidewalk.
Yes, I was the victim of a meaningless and stupid crime last night.
It took over an hour to deal with the police and to secure my vehicle as best I could and then another two hours (and some chocolate cake) to calm down enough to go back to sleep. I'm not the kind of person who functions well on little sleep and am ever-so-grateful for my coffee this morning.
Several "signs" have occurred this summer telling me that it's time to move on, but last night was not just a sign - it was a wake-up call. A very loud one. In fact, after debating off and on for almost a year about moving, I had just made up my mind a few days ago that I'm ready for my next big adventure and to cut my ties with this town that I've made home for the past 17 years.
This has been a tough summer for me. A few months ago I had to call the police several times on one of my neighbors for neglecting her dogs in her backyard and for trying to instigate a fight with me in my front yard. She eventually was evicted and subsequently released her dogs into the neighborhood to fend for themselves; they're now at the Humane Society looking for new homes. Another neighbor poured urine and poison over our fence in an attempt to kill our wisteria tree. He was arrested for disorderly conduct for putting our dogs in danger with poison; the wisteria tree is now gone. Last week a puppy was shot to death in its front yard with a pellet gun just a block from our house; Charlie and I had just met this puppy a week prior to its death. Now a random drunk person walking down the sidewalk smashes my car window! Ugh. Not to mention that a year ago a man was murdered and dismembered in a house that I can see from my kitchen window.
In addition to all this neighborhood stress, my job is going down the tubes. Turnover is high, attitudes are terrible, everyone is overworked and underpaid and finances are unstable. I haven't enjoyed going to work in a very long time.
Maybe now you understand why I go into the woods every weekend. It's my escape from this daily reality. As I stood in my driveway last night thinking of all the things I was going to have to do to fix this mess, the one that bothered me the most was that I wasn't going to be able to take a road trip and go hiking this weekend. That's where my priorities are.
I hate feeling like a victim, but as I stare at the two Victim Information Brochures with case numbers on my desk, it's apparent that I am a victim according to the Wausau Police Dept. I can't believe I've been the victim of two separate crimes in a matter of a couple of months. I realize that it's up to me to change my mindset and instead of letting this get me down I have the choice to gain strength in spite of these events. So instead of wallowing in "Why Me?" I'm choosing to see these unfortunate events as my sign (and permission slip) to go forward with a new adventure and leave this place behind.
But first there is glass to clean up and a call needs to be made to the insurance company. TGIF.
Crimes, Cops and Being A Victim
Crimes, Cops and Being A Victim

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