When I woke up this morning, it also woke up my wife. She asked me why I was breathing short and fast. I shrugged it off because I was dealing with my dream. I’d like to share it with you because there’s something I learned (at least reinforced) and maybe you can learn from it too.
The dream was short.
I was in my house at the base of the stairs. I recall there was a ladder outside leaned against the house in such a way one could get on the 2nd story balcony. I don’t know where, why, or how the ladder was there but it seemed as if it was there because we left it there or a workman put it there or something like that; that is, there was no malicious reason for it being there. Wife told me how previously she saw someone trying to get into the house via the balcony door. And lo, as I looked up, there he was again trying to get in. My reaction was to go outside, gun trained on the dude, and yell at him to get the hell out of my house.
Then I woke up. That intense climactic moment of the dream? That would explain my breathing pattern upon waking.
The immediate aftermath? I could only think to myself how wrong that decision was. I didn’t go back to sleep, it bugged me so much.
I know better. I know that is generally not the course of action to take. To go outside your home to confront the dude? Bad idea and asking for potential trouble, both legally and tactically.
- I live in Texas, we have the Castle Doctrine. I’m not a lawyer, but certainly if I’m in my home and someone bursts into my home, that’s very clear cut. If someone is just outside on my property, even in the act of breaking into my house, then I go outside to confront them… well… again I’m not a lawyer, but I think that would be covered by Castle Doctrine. But certainly it makes things less clear cut, from a legal perspective.
- I recall when I went outside I was focused on the dude. What does that mean? That I was not focused on his buddy. Not that there was one in the dream (never established), but chances are good the dude wasn’t acting alone. It could be someone driving the getaway car, maybe around the side of the house looking for another point of entry. Knowing the layout of my house and yard and the street, there’s lots of blind areas and a single actor cannot cover it all. If I had someone that could watch my back it might be different, but that’s not the case. I was asking to be ambushed.
- Furthermore, of the few breakins that have happened in my neighborhood (including one I saw the cops bust), they certainly were not acting alone.
- By going outside, I left at least my wife inside (the dream established nothing regarding the state of my children). Dude could have ignored my command and just entered the house. Now I’m outside and he’d be inside with my wife. That’s not desirable.
It was just a bad move. Why I made that move, I don’t know. I figure it’s a dream and all sorts of strange things happen in dreams; it doesn’t have to make sense. I do not count this as indicative of how I’d actually behave, at least I sure hope it’s not how I’d behave, because as soon as I woke up I acknowledged it was incorrect behavior. Thus, I know better, but we all have times where we know better yet act incorrectly. So I’m not going to evaluate the dream in that regard; I’m just going to chalk the dream up to an opportunity to learn. Better I make a mistake in my dreams, especially if it means in real life I learn from and don’t repeat the mistake.
So what should be done?
At least in my particular situation, better would have been to fall back, get to the phone, dial 911; or better, have Wife handle the call. Me, get armed, get to a defensible position, hunker down, wait.
We have an alarm system on the house and we use it. For whatever reason, it never entered the dream. If dude did break a window or opened the door, the alarm would have gone off. Funny things, dreams are.
Nevertheless, I wanted to share. If folks can learn from it, good.