Someone stole my underwear from the laundry room of my apartment building tonight.
When I write it out, it seems silly. Like the plot of a book set at summer camp. Certainly nothing worth crying over. It's just clothes, right? I should be thankful the thief left my sheets and towels, right? It's just one of the hazards of using shared laundry facilities, right?
Except whoever stole my underwear left all the plain cotton ones. Whoever stole my underwear stole lacy, frilly, sexy pairs of underwear that I've worn to seduce my boyfriend. The thief took my favorite cheeky panties that make my ass look amazing. This creep stole almost my entire collection of pretty underwear, about $100 worth of lingerie.
I kept my cool for almost two hours. I emailed my building manager, I put a sign up in the laundry room, and I walked door-to-door for over an hour, questioning the tenants. I did everything right. I was cool, calm, and collected. I knocked loudly on the doors, I asked each tenant if he or she had done laundry around 5:15pm today, and I didn't cry. One tenant had retrieved her laundry at that time, and she described a man leaving as she approached. She had also noticed that the washing machine lid was open, and some clothes were in the sink next to it, both of which she thought was odd. Since I checked my laundry at 5:30pm, and both washers were closed, and no laundry was in the sink, I'm pretty sure it was that man who stole my underwear. Another tenant told me that she'd had bras, camisoles, and panties stolen from the laundry room in the past.
A man, who lives in the same apartment building that I do, stole my sexy panties.
I no longer feel safe in my apartment building. He didn't just steal my underwear. He stole my feeling of security.
I paused in writing this for about half an hour, during which I skyped with Beau, who encouraged me to fill out a police report. I've stopped crying now, but I cried for a good half hour before I get online, and then at least another fifteen minutes while talking to him.
My building manager emailed me back. On top of explaining the steps she is taking for this situation, she also validated my feelings. (Edited to remove personal information. Emphasis mine).
Again, I personally have had strange things happen
to me in the past... and I know how
victimized and violated it can make you feel.
Yes. That is exactly how I feel. I feel victimized and violated, two horrible feelings that I haven't felt in a long time. He didn't have to touch me or speak to me or even see me to violate me. By stealing something so personal, where I live, the thief violated me.
Now, anytime I run into a man in my apartment, I will be nervous. Alert. On edge. Was it him? Does he have my underwear? Am I safe?
Men are understandably upset when women treat them like potential rapists. But I was 12, at home, in my kitchen, the first time a boy violated my body. I'm in my 20s now, in my apartment building, and this is only the most recent of times a man has violated me.
So if I'm extra-cautious around men I don't know,
can you blame me?