We were robbed.

We were robbed.
May 19, 2014 Lainie Liberti

We were robbed.

We all travel through our lives with a constructed reality held together by beliefs, in which our perception of the the world becomes our paradigm to experience reality. Our lives are experienced  in relation to the foundational beliefs we have in place. Everything is a relative to something else and those beliefs for many of us are so inflexible, we believe they are the ultimate reality. And I have argued more than once, there are no ultimate truths greater than our own perception.

We were robbed.

One of those beliefs set at the foundation of my reality is the belief “the world is a safe place.”

We were robbed.

I have worked hard to create my experience of the world based on perceptual reality filled with freedom, joy and trust. I have consciously given up beliefs rooted in fear. I have expressed liberty in my life and taught those experiences to my son.

We were robbed.

And still, with the strength of being, I was deeply effected, like a stick thrown into the spoke of a bicycle wheel I was thrown off, reeling into the air, landing on my ass with a giant thump. scribble

We were robbed.

I had Miro move his bed into my room next to mine. For a week I did not get out of bed. I sobbed, cycled through so many thoughts, so many feelings, so many perceptions about the world around me. I withdrew, retreated and hid. I lost that sparkle in my eyes and feel like it still hasn’t completely returned.

We were robbed.

Logically there’s much to be grateful for. The stuff that was taken was not substantial.  The stuff can be replaced.

We were not hurt.

Saturday evening I had returned home from spending the entire day with 3 sets of families that were visiting Cusco. I had arranged a family despacho ceremony for the group and we had an incredible afternoon exploring the wooded forest above Cusco, exploring the site of a few ancient ruins, climbing over boulders and exploring caverns. Cesar sat with the parents for a couple of hours sharing his knowledge of the sacred sites, the old traditions and wisdom about the Andean mysticism as the children played in and around the river, the Incas once used to cleanse before entering the sacred site of Saqsaywaman. Then, after a couple of hours, as a group we all settled into the beautiful despacho ceremony honoring mother earth. (I wrote about the ceremony here.) I took wonderful photos of the ceremony.

Returning home I was exhausted and elated at the same time. I made dinner and although Miro and I had agreed to meet the families to see a movie later that night, Miro decided he didn’t want to see the kids film they were showing and would rather stay in.

Personally, I was content staying in and sorting through the photos of that day.

As I do every night before, I hang my purse on the edge of the kitchen chair, containing wallet, ID, keys and everything. Normally I place my camera on the shelf by the door in the kitchen.

But this night, I took my purse and camera upstairs with me to my bedroom as I decided I preferred to get into bed and sort through the days photos.

The reason I grabbed my purse too? I don’t know, because I never do that. Then around 10:00 pm, I drifted off to sleep, entered a dream state of bliss…

We were robbed.

Miro has been empowered for a long time to make his own choices. He wasn’t interested in going to the despacho ceremony with me and the other families, and has attended a couple other ceremonies in the past already.

None of the kids were his age and he just preferred to skip it.
OK – Teen independence. I’m fine with that.

Miro is empowered to choose what time he wants to go to sleep and when he wants to wake up. Although many times I wish he’d make other choices, I will never force him to choose something different in order to please me.

Recently, I have been accustomed to hearing the sounds of Miro’s excited voice coming through his room playing games, talking via skype late into the night. Sometimes I hear him playing straight through into the morning. I feel strongly, he has the ability to make his own choices about his life and as long as he takes care of his obligations to his business, shows up for any joint plans we both commit to, he’s fine with that.

I am a light sleeper, and usually wake up very easily.

Early Sunday morning, I woke up to sound of footsteps in the hallway. The hardwood floors creak. It didn’t sound normal but I rationalized in my sleepy state, Miro must still be awake, needed  to go to the bathroom and was walking around just a bit.

The sounds woke me up and I found myself staring out into the dark, listening through my eyes..

Then slowly, my door started to open… I stared wide-eyed at the door, and said in a hushed morning voice, “Miro, what are you doing? Is everything ok?”

Then, quietly and intentionally, the door shut ….

….more walking around upstairs…more creaking on the wooden floor boards…

…then a few moments later, the door quietly opened again. Once more I spoke, “Miro, what are you doing? Are you ok?

Again the door gently shut. Then after a few minutes, the creaking floor noises stopped…

Then the dogs barked. “The dogs must have seen a rat,” I thought…

Then, a brief glance at the clock, 5:10, then a quick trip to bathroom, then back into bed. I quickly drifted back to sleep for a few more hours.

My eyes opened at 9:30 Sunday morning, feeling a little restless, but ready for the day. I turned on my laptop and was immediately messaged by a friend and stared chatting. We chatted for an hour and at 10:30 I finally got up out of bed.

I grabbed my computer and headed downstairs, ready to make some coffee.

Miro’s bedroom door was open so I went in. I said, “Miro, hey, you must have been sleep walking last night.. are you ok?” ….. He just looked at me with that sleepy grin and said, “I don’t know what you are talking about,” then threw a pillow over his head and rolled over in the opposite direction. I walked down the stairs and saw the front door was open, propped open by a rock.

I was confused.

Then I noticed the back door was open too, leading the  outdoor laundry area. Both doors were left wide open. I was sure I didn’t leave them open. Then, I looked into the kitchen, the balon of gas was missing… it hit me, I realized in that moment…..



I started screaming.

Miro yelled down. “What’s wrong Mom?” I yelled back “We were robbed!” Miro yelled back, “my computers are gone!”.

Oh fuck!” I screamed, then I went outside to the front of our house and and let out a shriek. I screamed and screamed and screamed…

In that moment, I realized the footsteps I heard were that of the robbers.

In that moment, I realized they were the ones opening up my door.

In that moment, I realized they were in Miro’s room, inches away from my son’s head.

With that thought, I started to sob. I started to uncontrollably sob. I realized they could have hurt my child. I felt disgusted, I felt like a violated, I felt guilty and I felt powerless. But the most terrible feeling was, I felt like a failure. It was my job to protect my son and I failed.

We were robbed.

I have never been robbed. I have never had any experience like this.

I could handle the material loss, which was minimal. We lost a couple of personal items, 2 backpacks, our gas for cooking, and 2 computers, computer cases, our kindle, a hard drive… I knew we could replace those things.. But I had no idea how to deal with the emotional loss, the deep feeling of violation.

I sobbed on and off for almost 2 days straight, with no consoling. Was it fear I was feeling? No. I didn’t think so. Was I afraid  they would come back? No. I was sure they wouldn’t. It is hard to define the emotion sourcing through my soul…. It was a release, an acknowledgment that my paradigm had shifted, what I knew to be my truth was no longer true.

I asked Miro  to move into my room with me. He did.

We laid on our mattresses watching movies on my computer for days.  I didn’t want to go outside. I didn’t want to be in the world. I had no appetite and no desire to do anything at all.

An endless stream of movies played, but I wasn’t really there. My eyes, mostly glazed over out of focus as my head pointed in the direction of the movies. We watched four or five movies every day but I was just checked out. I withdrew into a place that only existed in my head…

Then around the fourth day, I started to wake up. In my mind, I started to replay that morning from the moment I heard the footsteps and the moment head, suddenly becoming “wonder woman”.

In my mind, the events played out very differently. I woke up, already with my magical red patent bad-ass boots on my feet and a golden lasso around my waist.

In my mind, I opened the door and round house kicked the fuckers in the face. I felt the surge of anger transform into a golden ball of steel power travel up my spine, across my shoulder blade then thrust down my arm. Then in my mind, that power-ball serged out the palm of my hand with such force, reeling into the beady eyed robber’s bodies. They would fly across the hallway opposite my bedroom door.

The incredible force would stun their bodies as they’d hit the wall behind them and be rendered unconscious, a single dribble of blood oozing from the corner of their mouth.

Then I felt the satisfaction of hurting them.


And as my mind observed this day dream and realized I was utterly disappointed in myself and the things I was feeling.

I was supposed to feel compassion. But in the privacy of my mind, I imagined revenge. I wanted nothing more than to hurt these faceless people with a vengeance.

These people who didn’t hurt us physically. These people who could have hurt us, were so close to my sleeping son. There was something truly to be grateful. These vengeful thoughts were simply not me.   But they were there, nonetheless. I tried to consciously  not identifying with them. I wanted to think I am  more evolved than that.

But I guess I am not.

And then, more crying…

Being robbed effected me deeply.… There are moments I see the gift in this. But I realize that I am not that pillar of strength regardless of what others think…  I hear the words of reason spoken from those around, in attempt to comfort me. But I’m reeling from the perceptual changes in both my  outer and inner worlds.  My constructed reality has ultimately shifted. My paradigm framing how I used to see the world is skewed. Everything is shaken up, upside-down, backwards, not right…

I’ll adjust.

We were robbed.

It just might be a good thing after all.

Not just “things” were taken from us, but the very ground I walk on now is once again anew.


  1. So glad you weren’t physically injured! That is an awful experience, whether traveling or at home. Did the local community make any inquiries on your behalf? Best of luck in finding steady ground again; it’s a process, as you know.

  2. Vanessa 10 years ago

    Wow, I’m so sorry this happened to you guys!!! While I’m sure you’re relieved to both be safe, that feeling of violation is strong and painful. Thank you for being so raw about those real feelings of anger, revenge, and fear. I wish you both the best in the next few weeks as you get back on your feet. If you need financial help recovering your belongings, I bet the un/world schooling community would reach out to you both. I know I’ll push that donate button. Best wishes!! <3

  3. thetarotlady 10 years ago

    I am SO sorry. I am just glad you and your son are safe.

    I know how frightening this is – we were robbed a few months ago, broad daylight window kicked in, middle of the day. We were home and they heard us…so they ran off without getting anything but two ancient, broken laptops that were set aside to recycle. I was an anxious mess for about a week.

    Sending love, light and safety vibes to you both…XXXOOO

  4. world travel family 10 years ago

    Oh boy, I’m sorry Lainie. I’ve been in buildings entered by thieves many times, my parents kept a post office. If it consoles you, I carry no lasting trauma from that, I hope Miro is the same. Subsequently we were robbed at Cairns airport and twice in Malaysia, with one failed attempt in India. What hurts me is the betrayal of trust, that feeling of why would they do that to me ? I’m one of the nice guys, not rich, not flashy, yet somebody took things that were important, family photos, trinkets, jewellery of sentimental value only, my favourite T shirt. It hurts and I hope you both get over it more quickly than I did,

  5. Pal 10 years ago

    Sorry to hear this happening to you. It’s impossible to understand how some people are capable to carry out this kind of vile actions. Stay strong.

  6. Ariane Bazin 10 years ago

    Dears dearest voyageurs, my friends my “tout petit” I am so so sorry to hear such a difficult mesaventure, I whish to cuttle you both in my arms. I know how unfare and scary we are left behind lost in a foreign country even that was your motherhome choice!!! Never drop your garde in final I will say , but oh well you are both safe and good heath by now so no comment from me more ,just I send you love, love and love,care,care and the best spirit to rebuild the material part of your lost I know the wonder woman is back and Miro is all strength too
    Love Ariane

  7. Sterling LaBlanc 10 years ago

    Someone once told me that when bad things happen to me, and even to those around me, it is simply because I am putting out negative energy into the world and the universe is simply reflecting it back. My expectation is negative so this is what I receive. Maybe the universe is speaking to you. Both you and your son are quite fortunate you were both left living, quietly sleeping and not killed. Peruvian culture is quite violent when they want something and you have it.

    And these robbers will be back, you can be sure.

    • jrose 10 years ago

      So basically, you’re saying, “You were robbed because you must have been sending out negative energy.” BULLSHIT. Shame on you for blaming the victim, and using stupid New Age nonsense to justify your obnoxious comments.

      Way to scare her too into thinking the robbers will come back. Boy, talk about negative energy…

  8. aye 10 years ago

    I can relate! We were too robbed in the US when emma was only five! I felt violated and took me months before I felt comfortable going out to the park right in front of our home! I thought *they* would be watching me, our family! Terrible, aweful feelings for sure! Glad no one got hurt and both of you are ok, physically! I am so sorry! Sending you warm wishes from Thailand!

  9. aye 10 years ago

    I at an corrected! I am told in our case, it was a burglary, not robbery!

  10. Oh my goodness Lainie, I am freaking out at the very thought of burglars being in the house with my babies, and I completely understand why you were so shook up! I felt like the earth was tossed sideways just when our house was burgled and we were out of it! If you can find a silver lining from the experience you are an amazing lady. We tried to find our trust in the world again by believing in two things… 1. It’s a desperate person that takes from another, and we can only hope that they find their place in the world. 2. They’re just things, it’s not personal. In all the years that you have traveled I’m sure you’ve encountered the good people to the bad 100 – 1 keep that in mind and keep smiling xx

  11. Zena 10 years ago

    I am soo sorry Laine..it is not anything new in Latin America.My things were stolen, too.The most important is your safety.Thanks God you are safe and sound.Let God keep you strong on the Road of Life.No matter how you define God He was/is watching you.Within the time your vengange will pass away.I promise you.
    Hope you remember me from Antigua.You couchsurfed with me.It was a good time:))

  12. Matthew Karsten 10 years ago

    So sorry to hear this. I can relate to wanting revenge too. In the future, if you’d like a chance at revenge, I suggest the free software “Prey Project” for your computers.

    Do a google search on it and you’ll find my success story.

  13. Ian 10 years ago

    Sorry to hear about this … I’ll have to be super vigilant when I head down to Latin America later this year. Hope you’re ok now that you’ve had time to process it all!

  14. Ritter Standley 10 years ago

    I am glad to hear that you and Miro are safe. I know how you feel, it really is a scary world out there and to be violated in your one safe and personal space is really scarring. I hope that you keep in mind that not everyone is like those who robbed you. That there are people who have kind hearts and that this experience should make you stronger and not take you down. Have heart.

  15. Heidi Jo the Artist 10 years ago

    So sorry, friend! On a side note, I really like the art you chose for this post. 🙂

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