Sunday, 1 June 2008

Hate crime, fear & parnoia

My family & I are safe we did not suffer a hate crime, so please do not worry, if you read this.
Fate played a hand in keeping me safe last night. I had to leave my home at 10.45 to pick up my parents. Fortunately I had been sending messages to some friends & was a little late in leaving. If I had left a moment sooner I could have meet someone who was trying to break into my parents car which I had parked outside my garage at the back of my flat in a courtyard. It is only a 1989 Ford Fiesta with nothing of value in it. It gives my dear Dad a feeling of independence & so to him its priceless.

As I went to open the car door something did not seem right & it was then that I heard a crackling sound of rapidly shattering glass from the side window behind the drivers door. Followed by the sound of what appeared to be the perpetrator of the crime climbing over the back fence in the shadows. I guess our security spotlight which normally comes on when there is movement may have disturbed him first as I activated it walking past my flat. I was a mixture of frightened & angry. I could not make any sense of it all. There were far nicer cars near by in more vulnerable dimly lit places that they had not touched which worried me a lot once the panic set him.

I was worrying about my parents waiting for me & the paranoia that this could just be the start of a hate crime, started to set in. I felt so vulnerable. I was afraid they would attack my home while I was gone. I took a chance & decided to drive the car the short distance up the road back to my parents home. The window which was still alive with the sound of splintering glass sound, some how managed not to fall out.

I was afraid that if it was yobs walking up the road that did it, they may finish the job of when I went off to get my parents. More paranoia. I rushed to Mum & Dads next door neighbours for help & they calmed me down. They kindly offered to keep an eye on the car while I went off 20 minutes late to get my worried sick Mum & Dad from their evening out. They & their friends were just relieved I was ok. It could so easily have been worse than just damage to property.

My biggest fear in transitioning has always been that my dear parents would suffer any kind of abuse because of me. I had a sleepless night blaming myself & cursed myself for not taking my own car instead of using Dads. My car is our run around & sometimes grubby with Corgi fur & the mud & stuff we bring back on our feet from our walks together. We keep Dads for best & as they were going out to see their friends for their weekly Saturday night get together I chose to take my Dads. At least then the batteries charged up as he hardly ever drives now (less than 100 miles in the last two year, 40,000 genuine miles on the clock). Not that he needs to drive, as I willingly take them everywhere they need.

In the cold light of today it was clearly just a simple case of car crime. It will only cost £100 to fix & so it is not worth claiming on insurance. The mental stress on my family & I was a far bigger worry.

My Dad asked me to make the necessary phone calls as he did not feel up to it. I reported it to the police just in case there was a spate of car crime in the area. The policeman I spoke to could not have been more helpful. There is not much they can do if it is a car crime which is a fact of life in the UK we now live in. It was safer camping out in the wilderness of Botswana, with the wild animals. I could have done with that elephant. Only pink ones live round here! I digress yet again,sorry. I explained my situation to the officer but I did not want to cry wolf & say it was a hate crime. His response was very respectful & concerned. He assured me they take hate crime very seriously & if in the unlikely event this escalates, they would do all they could to stop it happening. I hope to God I never have to phone him back but he seemed very genuine. The theif took nothing material wise but he has stolen my families pleasure this weekend.

After the phone calls I spent some time cleaning up the broken glass on my hands & knee's this morning outside my parents house as most of the window has now collapsed. I booked the repair to be done & then just to finish the morning off, my dear Mum became distressed. She started blaming me for the damage happening which did not help. She was only voicing the fears that I had for so long believed were my own. Those fears in some small way may have helped to hold me back from transitioning. I have been worried about her as she has not been herself all weekend & she is very tired. I just wanted to comfort her & make things right but she had become upset possibly at hearing me having to tell the police her son was transsexual but more likely like me her fears of our family being hurt because of my condition. I could not reason with her when she is like this & so I thought it best I leave & give them some space. So I spent some time back at my flat. At least I could do some more bloging. Much more fun than the housework I really should be doing!

At the combined age of 163 years this was another challenging day in the life of my dear family, that I so wished they had not had to experience.

I was hoping to write about something normal for a change, not Ts or GD related. All this gender stuff seems to involve so much whining & self pity. It gets boring. I am sorry to pour it all out yet again. I an actually fine now & so are my dear parents.

My heart goes out to any one who suffers crime but hate crime in particular. It must be a nightmare for the poor loves.

Yesterday had started off so lovely. I received my new name badge from my art society which was really poignant for me & meant so much. I had lots of normal stuff to do, the weekly shop & paying bills. I had another amusing phone conversation I never dreamed I would never have. I was talking to Mum about our shopping list when she kindly reminded me to remember to take back a skirt that I had recently bought that did not fit properly. Just going out & about doing every day things as our true selves is heaven. Even food shopping!

I am so lucky to still have my family & to be me.

Ps I have to go now our doggy needs his walk. I hope my car is still in one piece.


Doris said...

It sounds really horrible and I am glad you have gotten through it. It is no consolation but our car has been broken into twice that we have not bothered to replace the stereo. It was only a crap stereo in the first place. It really doesn't matter what car it is, just what might be nickable. They broke into my sister's car and took her tax disk. The crimes on our car were drug related ... trying to get stuff to sell .... and the police actually caught people in both cases.

When I was much younger and single I lived in a very dodgy part of London. Extremely high crime and stuff. I was terrified my flat would be burgled so what I did was to create a mental bubble of safeness. Like a safety net that nothing bad could get in. Of course I still was careful about how I went about things but I did get comfort from my imaginary safety net of faith. Maybe it is something that might help you?

Hugs and strength to you all.

Josephine said...

Glad you're safe and all are OK honey. I think the most horrid thing about events like this is that they play on your vulnerabilities. The attempt to break into the car is sadly a routine event, opportunistic and very very unlikely to have anything to do with you or your situation. Just one of those horrid things.

But I do know how old people can react to things like this, as I recall the response of my Mum to smaller things.

And as for your Mum getting upset about you telling the police that you are TS etc...well actually no bad thing that they do know, I'd say. Can't do any harm for them to have a record of this call.

But unquestionably just a random, upsetting incident honey.

Anji said...

'A mental bubble of safeness' - Doris comes to the rescue again! I know that when something like this happens the temptation is to take it personally. To them it was probably just another car.

As a parent I understand why your Mother is worried. If only we could keep our chicks safe 24 hours a day.
As the days pass it will become what it is; a broken car window.

Take care

Debbie K said...

Dear Doris, Jo & Anji

We are all fine now. The window is fixed. No real harm done. My young neighbour reassured me they probably targeted my Dads old car because being the oldest it was the easiest to break into as it had no alarm. I think she is almost certainly right.

I am going to be a lot more careful going out into that courtyard in the evenings. I have always been a bit scared of the shadows. Especially when they started singing!LoL

I do feel & recognise I am more vulnerable now & that I have to be more street aware for my own personal safety. I know I simply could not defend myself, as my body has changed quite considerably (for the better).

It is hard for me not to behave like a victim. If cornered much like a wild animal these low lives seem to have no concern, no morals now & it can happen to any one anywhere, day or night regardless of your gender.

I like the idea of an imaginery safety net.

While camping in Botswana in 2005 my artist friend awoke during the night & felt the call of nature. He needed to use the loo tent, which was some distance from all our tents. All was well until he unzipped the loo tent door to return to his sleping bag & walked out to be confronted by a lioness starring at him. Luckily he had the sense/courage not to run. He tried to make himself look more threatening by raising his arms in a dangerous game of bluff. Thankfully he survived to tell the story & even managed to dive back into the right tent where his wife was unaware of his ordeal.

Our guides do not carry guns but we trusted them & being fortunate enough to have camped in the bush several times before we had all become over familiar with our surroundings. We had all become a little too complacent about our own safety.

A lesson I shall take on board nearer to home.

I am just grateful we live in a nice area! Our corgi thinks he's a lion but he's just a pussy cat.


Josephine said...

My God Debbie ;-) Well you'll know what to do the next time you see a lioness trying to break into your car!!