I haven’t talked about this publicly until today.
Five years ago today my home was burglarized.
I was out of town on a boat on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Idaho when I got a phone call from my housekeeper: “I think your house was broken into,” she said.
No way. No way. She’s too calm. Oh wait, she’s actually not calm at all.
“Lupe, what makes you think that?”
“Landon’s (my stepson) bedroom is a mess and your closet has been ripped apart.”
Oh my god.
My hands shook as I got off the phone with her so she could call 911. I called the police department in Newport Beach, CA to report the burglary and opened my app with security cameras in the house.
There they were: two of them, dressed in all black with black masks and gloves straight out of a horror movie. I froze into a perpetual cringe as I watched one of them look straight into the camera before smashing it and disabling it. A flood of tears erupted as I thrust the phone into the hands of my husband. I couldn’t watch it again.
In that moment I felt utterly violated for the first time in my life.
The bad guys climbed through a second story window that was left cracked open to accept the cool ocean breeze. They ruined the blinds and muddied the rug as they marched down to the motherboard of my A/V system to disable it. (I didn’t even know where this was located.). Then they went straight for my closet and took all my fancy bags: Chanel, Celine, Louis Vuitton… And cleaned out my jewelry drawers full of irreplaceable heirloom jewelry from my grandparents among other high priced items. They even stole my fancy perfume.
I scrolled back in time and saw that prior to the break-in the perpetrators’ car’s shadow cruised by the front of the house – checking to make sure no one was home – before pulling around to the back alley and breaking and entering.
I was 7 months pregnant with Aspen and Girly Girl was a new puppy. I spent most of my time in my CA home without my husband who was working in St Louis. “Thank God we weren’t there,” is all I kept thinking. How could this have happened? And I couldn’t do anything because I was a thousand miles away in Idaho, literally on a boat in the middle of a lake.
This was my first taste of how I had to learn to thrive under immense fear while simultaneously caring for my puppy and pregnancy and taking all the steps necessary to attempt to recover my stolen goods (never happened) and catch the bad guys (never happened). Only my items were stolen and only I felt the enormity of the blank space within my heart wherein used to lie a semblance of safety. Insurance money doesn’t take into account the emotional turmoil I endured, and that’s assuming I ever even had access to that money in the first place.
My first day back in my house I was alone, as I often was, and cried and cried in my closet with my big pregnant belly and puppy. I looked up my homeowner rights in the State of CA to see how I could protect myself within the confines of the law (much different than my gun-toting home State of Missouri), and I dried off my tears and drove to Home Depot and bought the scariest looking metal pipe I could find to put it under my side of the bed. That pipe had a home there until the day I moved out, if someone wanted to fuck with me again I was ready.
It’s hard to believe it’s only been 5 years since this happened. And what’s sadder is that the trauma I endured through the burglary would be but a distant blip on the radar considering the trauma I had yet to experience.
But it was also metaphorical for my life to come.
I lost so much materially and so much emotionally, but slowly I got piece by piece back. There’s still that gaping hole of safety that will be filled someday – that has taken the longest. Physical safety, yes, but emotional safety, too; I lost it in the burglary and ultimately I would come to lose that in my partner as well.
It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. I was asking myself why I haven’t felt compelled to write in so long and I can only think of one thing: I feel more internally validated than ever before and my experiences are taking on a new air of sanctity and privacy.
Having lived in the public eye for many years now has enlightened me to the beauty of privacy and even secrecy. To hold close the tragedy or the excitement of an experience is a new wonder to me. Before, I never had to understand this because no one outside my circle cared, then during the last few years I was willing and eager to share everything, and now I’m entering a new era of appreciation for private moments.
The police and my now ex-husband told me not to share the burglary on social media which exacerbated my loneliness at the time, so telling you all about this today is my ironic declaration of sharing what I want, when I want. My experiences and emotions are mine alone and no one controls that. There’s power in privacy and there’s power in saying “FU” to others trying to control what is only mine, but it happens on my terms.
There’s a lot of undertones in this blog as my heart is heavy today and I don’t want to directly articulate all of the exact reasons for this. Ladies, find your voice. You can do hard things on your own terms even when they try to control you. “They” is up for you to decide. We can be safe again, it is our right.
These pictures were all taken moments before discovering my house had been burglarized: