The year was 1980. I had just moved into an apartment complex with my oldest daughter (only child at the time). Two men had broken into my one-bedroom apartment, which was very easy to do, considering I left the sliding glass doors open in the living room.
The overwhelming heat in my tiny apartment was alleviated only by that door being open, and it never occurred to me to install any home security equipment. I figured I could protect my daughter, and I had nothing worth stealing, so why worry.
What I didn't bargain for was the possibility that the people who resided in my apartment before I lived there might have been drug dealers.
The time was 4:00 in the morning. I had awakened with an asthma attack and attempted to get up so I could walk into the dining room where I kept my inhaler. Before I got there, however, a man with a mask pushed me back down into my bed, covered my face with a glove, and held a knife to my throat. Fortunately I was disoriented – I thought he was my (then) fiancé playing some kind of sick joke on me, so I didn't respond the way I might have had I known he was an actual intruder.
He allowed me to go into the dining room to get my inhaler. And that was when I noticed another man rummaging through my freezer.
Everything turned out well. They left with nothing and my daughter and I weren't harmed. After calling the police, I discovered that I had unknowingly moved into a high crime area, and that the reason the guy was going through my freezer was because drug dealers often hide their stash in the freezer.
I moved out of there as soon as I could find a new place, and while I was frightened for several months, I learned a valuable lesson – never leave yourself or your family unprotected. I am now more vigilant.