In 2008, Rob Norman faced a home invasion and robbery.
“I was lying on my bed wearing an Incredible Hulk t-shirt, no pants,” Norman recalled, “when I heard someone come in through the back door.”
“I went to go close the door, and what I saw was, like, two guys in masks, like, covering their faces,” Norman said. “One, like, six-foot-three guy holding a beer bottle and then, like, a guy holding a rifle.”
“I hear people have a fight or flight response,” Norman said. “I chose to do neither of those things. I looked at them, and said really loud, ‘Aw no.'”
Once the robbers were in the house, Norman said he just “gave up.”
“I lied face-first down on the bed, and then they tied me up with my iPod charger cord.”
He did, however, manage to negotiate with the robbers — they agreed not to take his driver’s license to spare him the trouble of getting a new one.
The gun the robbers were using turned out to be a .22, and police later told him he was lucky to have survived the ordeal with two very inexperienced burglars — who drove their mom’s car to the scene of the crime — handling a deadly weapon.
Still, the experience left Norman grappling with a tough question: “What do you do, when at the core of who you are is a coward?”
The “Home Alone fantasies” he’d had before the invasion, imagining creative ways to fight off assailants, came to naught, and Norman realized that when push came to shove, he was a pushover.
His coping mechanism: honesty, and a healthy dose of laughing it off.
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