I have a few 'worst fears'. One of them is being attacked in my own home. This fear has intensified since I had children.
If someone broke in during the night and I was alone what would I do? Which child would I grab first? Where could we hide? What if the one of the boys cried?
Yep, unfortunately I don't tend to daydream about fluffy kittens and hot sandy beaches. My day dreams are usually tortured. I annoy myself with it.
When I watched the first episode of 'Survivors', the series where 99% of the population is wiped out by a virus and all infrastructure vanishes, I spent most of the night wide awake. I planned what I would need to loot from the shops to ensure my boys could survive (water, batteries, long-life milk, tinned food, tin openers, first aid supplies, the entire Milton range, petrol in cans, gas stoves, candles, matches, clothes, blankets, biscuits). The last item was for me - it would be a stressful time!
Now I've written this down I feel like a bit of an idiot.
That said, I still worry about nightmare scenarios. Andy has only stayed away overnight once this year. This week he went to London for his work Christmas party. I had the responsibility of looking after my children on my own.
I'm happy with my own company, I'm never bored (for a start my Google Reader is never empty!), but I hate being in the house on my own. Andy also works from home so there is usually someone here. So it was really quiet here on Tuesday/Wednesday.
My mind wandered to what I would do if one of the boys had an accident and we had to go to hospital. Luckily when Presley bashed his face on the sideboard and later kicked Cash in the head there was no harm done.
I take my hat off to single parents, what a responsibility you have.
I didn't sleep well on Tuesday night, more terrible thoughts of violent masked men, but otherwise we had a quiet night.
I had been thinking to myself that I'd been worrying over nothing, that crimes like these are the stuff of movies, but then I heard what happened to our friend S on Tuesday night.
Two masked men broke into her flat, while she was alone in her bed, and beat her up. They had been (unreliably) informed that there were drugs in her flat. Once they realised their mistake they apologised and left.
S found their apology rather surreal. She had to go to A&E. She has a black eye and bruising. She is now terrified of sleeping in her flat alone - and who can blame her?
What an awful thing to happen. Shocking.
We've since had our burglar alarm serviced and we're much more security minded. The best we can do is not make it easy for criminals to break in. We don't keep valuables on display. Our ladders are safely locked in the garage, along with our car. Our car keys are out of sight overnight, as is my handbag. We don't deal with cold callers on the doorstep. We're a member of Neighbourhood Watch.
Sorry neighbours, but I'd rather the criminals took one look at our little fortress and went next door.
As they say on Crimewatch: Don't have nightmares.