Dealing With Mentally Unbalanced Trespassers, by Hearthkeeper

The biggest weakness in preparedness planning is not a forgotten survival item, or too few cartridges.  The invisible weakness is lack of real time experience   It’s one thing to say your going to raise your own food, and maybe you have all the seeds and tools to do it stored away.  But if you have never actually planted a huge garden and tried to live off it your first year is going to be full of failures (see: learning opportunities) that could be potentially deadly in real survival time.  The same goes for every aspect of survival and emergency situation response.  Personally I have always wondered how I would react in a real SHTF situation.  Would I freeze?  React too slowly?  Freak out?

Police agencies recommend that you think out potential dangerous situations frequently and plan how you would react.  Such as an intruder in your house, or someone trying to break through the door.  This helps when you actually are confronted by the situation.  My husband and I have talked about what we would do, and even discussed it to a certain extent with out daughter who is 15 so she can be safe and help keep her younger siblings safe while we deal with the situation.  She often complained about it because we have always lived in the country or in small rural towns.  I have tried to tell her that drugs are still just as much a problem in these kind of communities, but like most people, she thought that if you live in a small community is must be safer.  Most people do not realize that while the population is small, the statistical drug abuse rates and alcohol rates are as high or higher than large cities.

As a woman moreover, my concern is how I would react and effectively defend myself against a man coming onto my property or into my home and threatening me and my children while I’m alone.  I am a home-maker so I am alone with the children most of every day.  This is one reason I keep firearms as protection.  Guns have been called The Great Equalizer and for women this is especially true.  I know that when it comes to a confrontation with a man I am not going to win.  Men are bigger and stronger and no Politically Correct foolishness is going to change that fact.  My father stressed that women should know how to handle guns and carry one because violent crimes against woman are common.  He taught his daughters how to use all styles of firearms with proficiency and safety so while I wish that I lived in the world of puppies and rainbows I see the necessity to posses guns.

Yesterday morning started out just like normal.  I was making breakfast for my four children and drinking a cup of coffee.  Everything was fine and dandy when suddenly my four year old son said “Mommy a man just walked through our side yard!”  I was surprised and concerned since it was 7:00 in the morning and nobody should be in our yard.  I called to my husband, who was luckily still home.  If it had been 15 minutes later he would have been gone.  I told my husband what our four year old had said and after asking which way the man had gone, which was towards the back yard, he went out to take a look.

While all this was happening our amazing guard dog golden retriever was snoring gently in corner!  My husband first looked out that back window and sure enough a man was out at our chicken run.  He let me know that and then walked out to talk to the man.  Almost instantly he was back in the house.

“Lock the doors and call 911, he said, this guys is off his rocker”  The man was at that time trying to pull down our chicken fence and when my husband asked him what he was doing he said “This is a mirror and it must come down”.  He had no slurred speech and was walking just fine but my husband said the way he looked was extremely creepy.  The man was obviously on some sort of drugs or in the grips of a psychotic episode.  

My first thought was bath salts or spice, as both of those have been in the news allot.  People in the grips of these drugs are extremely dangerous as it can cause violent psychosis to the point where they strip off their clothes and attack people.  There have been constant and increasing reports across the country of people on these drugs not just attacking but also trying to eat other people!  They do not respond to pain and have unnatural strength.

Needless to say neither my husband or I wanted to get into a physical altercation with this man.  My husband monitored him through a window while I immediately got the children upstairs and into a secure room.  Our back door is very unsecure, I could probably break through it with one kick so I was concerned what would happen if this man tried to come in.  I also considered that this man may be armed and wanted my children as far away from flying bullets with as many walls between them as possible.  This took about 20 seconds and then I was calling 911.  I felt no fear or panic, just an eerie calm with very clear thinking.  Every thought of mine was to  keep my children safe and remove the threat from my family.  As soon as I got to the phone my husband went and got the pump action shotgun loaded with slugs.  He stood by the window and continued to watch the man and report what he was doing so I could then tell the 911 operator.  

After trying to rip down the fence the man was now hitting his head repeatedly against it.  I told the operator to warn the responding officers that the man appeared to be hallucinating.  Now my husband told me the man was shaking and twitching and had again switched to trying to tear the fence down.  

Within four minutes of the initial 911 call the officers were on our property, which is one of the great things about living in a small town.  As soon as they arrived and had engaged in conversation with the man my husband went and put the shotgun away.  No need to get into an uncomfortable discussion on our firearms.

The man went with the officers with no struggle thank goodness and we then gave our statements.  Apparently the man had been causing trouble all night but since the previous people had not wanted to press charges he was allowed to walk.  We pressed charges for trespassing simply because the man otherwise would have been let go to terrorize some other family.  In jail he would be evaluated and not let go till he sobered up off of whatever he had taken.

All in all I think we handled the situation just right with only a few mistakes.  The first mistake was my husband going out and confronting the man without any defensive weapons.  Due to the fact that people hyped up on street drugs are often impervious to pain and display extreme strength this could have been really bad if the guy had gone after my husband.  My husband is very physically fit and strong.  He also is pretty confident on handling dangerous situations, but if taken by the element of surprise he could have been overpowered before he could react.  I of course would have gotten the shotgun immediately and dealt with the situation but my husband would have been injured.

Also I should have been armed as well.  That way if the guy had gotten through my husband and the shotgun he wouldn’t have gotten through me.

The after-effects of this incident were what you would expect.  There was much soothing needed for my children, and we had to explain why the man was acting the way he did.  That night both me and my husband had a hard time sleeping.  Also my husband came up and hugged me right after the police left.  We had been having an ongoing marital debate about locked doors.  I always keep the doors double locked even though we live in a small town and this annoyed my husband when he would come home at night.  My statement every night was the same.  “I don’t want anyone able to just walk into my house!” to which he would then blow off as unnecessary paranoia.

After this incident however he told me that if he ever gave me trouble about the locked doors again I was to punch him in the face!

During this whole incident I certainly felt concerned, but not panicked   The main reason for this was because both my husband and I are armed and know how to use them.  This man was not getting into our house.  This gave me a real calmness.  I cannot imagine what I would have felt like if we had not been armed and had to rely on nothing more than a locked door to protect us.  I have been teased often by anti gun family members about my penchant for carrying defence weapons.  But as I have heard stated many times before you don’t need a gun until you really need a gun.  And then if you don’t have one you are screwed.

What really disturbed me was what would have happened if one of my children had gone outside to feed the animals like they usually do while that man was out there.  They would have tried talking to him not realizing he was unbalanced.

I definitely recommend planning out what you would do in situations like these. It is so important to think out your priorities and who does what in a crises.  From our previous discussions it helped us spring to action and not panic.

As a last note we are this very weekend re-enforcing our back door so that it will take more than a hard tug to get through it.