This blog is first and foremost a journal, (here I am Scoops Howser M.D) always has been, always will be. Because of that I feel compelled to be honest and I feel it is natural to share this here. This isn’t a fun post to write, but I hope it is healing.
Last Thursday night we (the Allen fam) experienced a terrifying few hours in our home. Our mentally unstable neighbor became agitated, aggravated, and then, suicidal and homicidal (taking his three year old daughter hostage) which in turn led to a 5 hours stand off with the police (in the middle of the night). Thankfully it ended with him being taken into custody, and the little girl being rescued by police – safely and physically unharmed.
The road to get to that safety point was beyond terrifying for us as we experienced the whole ordeal with limited information from inside our house with our kids.
As we listened to a police scanner (online) from a huddled position behind our bed we were able to piece together the severity of the situation. Our neighbors from across the street were also able to give us accounts of what they were witnessing via text messages. My neighbors really banded together and it felt good to know that we were not alone in this. It was only until later that we realized that there were 50+ police officers around the perimeter of our block, including snipers, the bomb squad, and an entire swat team in our backyard. The operation to save this child and secure our neighborhood was BIG – and I’m so glad that those officers were there to keep us safe. I am beyond impressed, and have a new found respect for the people who risk their lives to keep communities secure.
The terror that we felt as a family is unsettling. We were in our home, this place that is supposed to provide us with safety and security and we felt anything but safe and secure during those late night hours and into the days following. How do you explain what you are experiencing to seven and four year olds, and how do you make them feel safe? We feel desperate to make our home feel like ours again and have been doing what we can to feel in control. Feeling violated is an understatement and I hope that we can begin to bring peace back into our home in the coming days.