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Well people, I am finally coming out of the closet.  I am a kleptomanic.  I have been one since a small child.  I arose from the ashes of a multi-faceted, abusive atmosphere.  I grew up in constant fear.  I NEVER received new clothing, I had two older sisters and always got their hand-me-downs.  Not even new school clothes, why should I when you have perfectly good clothes here.

My father tore out my soul and stomped on it.  He totally denied me of any of his love.  He constantly berated me, coupled with the abuse.

I am not a common thief.  I don't fully understand the impetus behind it, especially since I can go for a long time without doing it.  I do not steal from people, only from stores.  I have been arrested 4 times but have never served anytime for it.  The last time I got off easy because of my successful, well-known boyfriend, "pillar of the community".  When we walked in, the judge smiled at my bf and nodded to him.

I HATE myself after the act, and while contemplating it, I do try and stop myself but seem to have that stop gap in my brain missing to stop the stealing. 

For me to post this here is a very big deal for me, so please don't come down hard on me.  I know it is amoral, illegal, and just plain wrong.  I go on binges and come home with 2-3 thousand dollars in "stuff".

I have searched on the internet, talked to my therapist and pdoc and they don't have a general wealth of knowledge on it.  I know there are books but I can't concentrate long enough to read anymore.  It is certainly not a topic bought up in every day conversation.

I wonder if there might be a familial tie.  My great aunt was a kleptomaniac, and to a lesser degree than myself, so is my sister.  Very few people know, my bf, sister, mother and an ex friend (she was one too) are the main ones who know.  Boyfriend is very accepting of my MI and my kleptomania.

Enough rambling, I may regret this post, but I need to let it out in hopes that it may be cathartic for me. 

Thank you.

Peace to all

If anyone has any feedback to leave, it would be truly appreciated. 

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Well people, I am finally coming out of the closet.  I am a kleptomanic.  I have been one since a small child.  I arose from the ashes of a multi-faceted, abusive atmosphere.  I grew up in constant fear.  I NEVER received new clothing, I had two older sisters and always got their hand-me-downs.  Not even new school clothes, why should I when you have perfectly good clothes here.

My father tore out my soul and stomped on it.  He totally denied me of any of his love.  He constantly berated me, coupled with the abuse.

I am not a common thief.  I don't fully understand the impetus behind it, especially since I can go for a long time without doing it.  I do not steal from people, only from stores.  I have been arrested 4 times but have never served anytime for it.  The last time I got off easy because of my successful, well-known boyfriend, "pillar of the community".  When we walked in, the judge smiled at my bf and nodded to him.

I HATE myself after the act, and while contemplating it, I do try and stop myself but seem to have that stop gap in my brain missing to stop the stealing. 

For me to post this here is a very big deal for me, so please don't come down hard on me.  I know it is amoral, illegal, and just plain wrong.  I go on binges and come home with 2-3 thousand dollars in "stuff".

I have searched on the internet, talked to my therapist and pdoc and they don't have a general wealth of knowledge on it.  I know there are books but I can't concentrate long enough to read anymore.  It is certainly not a topic bought up in every day conversation.

I wonder if there might be a familial tie.  My great aunt was a kleptomaniac, and to a lesser degree than myself, so is my sister.  Very few people know, my bf, sister, mother and an ex friend (she was one too) are the main ones who know.  Boyfriend is very accepting of my MI and my kleptomania.

Enough rambling, I may regret this post, but I need to let it out in hopes that it may be cathartic for me. 

Thank you.

Peace to all

If anyone has any feedback to leave, it would be truly appreciated.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I feel since you are bringing up connection with so called kleptomania with friend, sister, and bf getting you off, and being accepted, that it is not truly kleptomania in it's truest form.

First off you would not want it to be so known by all costs, it would be all yours, and you would not want it to be accepted, or find that right.

There is a great deal on Kleptomania out there, i do not understand why you do not have pdoc with info on it.

There are meds for it, in fact off label use for Topomax along with alcholholism, and so much more.

I believe you need to read much more on this, and get therapy from pdoc that is knowledgeable, and see is this kleptomaniac, or just pushing buttons, seing how far you can go.

Kleptomania has nothing to do with that.

Aly

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Your post is exactly what I was afraid of.  I believe you are speaking down to me.  Unless you are a kleptomaniac yourself, I would'nt be so quick to judge me.  I personally find your post condescending, and devoid of any compassion whatsoever.  I am searching for ways to stop this, and you never considered how hard it was for me to speak of this. 

I have read the DSM info on it, and found stuff on the net.  I am a very intelligent person, with much campassion for mankind.  You seem to lack this quality.

Oh well.....thanks for your input anyway.

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Hi,

First of all, kudos to you for taking this step and talking about your problem.

I don't have a great deal of knowledge in this area, but I did some searching. Since you've been searching on the Internet, maybe you've come across these already.

Cleptomaniacs And Shoplifters Anonymous

Books & Articles about Kleptomania and Shoplifting

Living a Secret Life - The Oprah Winfrey Show, September 21, 2004

Two follow-ups from the Oprah Show:

http://www.oprah.com/tows/slide/200502/200...50201_101.jhtml

http://www.oprah.com/tows/after/200502/tow..._20050201.jhtml

Two sites with info on medication used to treat kleptomania; there were many sites, just the 1st two I saw:

http://healthgate.partners.org/browsing/br...tle=Kleptomania

http://www.personalmd.com/news/a1999022214.shtml

I hope this helps. Hopefully some more knowledgable people here will chime in.

Best,

revlow

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Your post is exactly what I was afraid of.  I believe you are speaking down to me. 

Do you think that it is possible that because you were expecting someone to talk down to you, you may have seen something in Aly's post that wasn't there?

When I am nervous, feel vulnerable, do something that is hard for me [like what you have done here- tell about this] I become very protective.

I would'nt be so quick to judge me...  I am a very intelligent person, with much campassion for mankind.  You seem to lack this quality.

Aly is, herself, intelligent and compassionate.

Now, if you had looked at her posts, you would see this.

You have been quick to judge her.

I do not believe she meant any condescension in her post at all, nor do I mean any in mine. I just want to remind you that people here really are nice, and want to be helpful. Sometimes it gets a little scrambled in the translation.

No on agrees with everyone.

Aly's good people.

I doubt there was a 'judgement' in her mind. She probably wanted to give you the best answer she could, instead of leaving someone hanging.

I don't really have much to say on your original post, though. I don't have much info on it, but I bet someother people will come along.

Actually, it will probably get more responses in an issue board as opposed to a med board.

~navy~

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Navy, thanks for your post and email.  I still stand by my original assessment of her response to me.  I am well educated, I have a Bachelor's in Human Services, and though I may be MI, I'm still quite aware of reality.

If someone came to me and wanted to expunge themself of something like this, the last thing I would be is condescending.  I feel she was judgmental. and certainly not coming from any informed point of view. If she is an expert in this matter, mea culpa.  If not she may want to choose her words a bit more carefully.  It disapponts me that I found a place where I was actually comfortable about posting.  This was a huge step for me, and I feel as though I was slapped in the face.

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Thank you Navy for trying to explain me.

Wackadoo, I wish came back earlier, my mind has been off bit lately( I was in bad car accident just going on 2 weeks ago, had quite bit injuries, head amongst them), and truly I do not think I ever reacted so to a post, so abrupt.

I want to first apologize, and please don't stop posting being honest.

I do hope you find therapist with better knowledge, I do not want to see you getting arrested hurting your life legally over this.

I do not know if that got me to get so upset, growing up with brother that had serious problems with robberies, he then died young.

Truly I do not want to make excuses, but apparently this did hit something personal, a loss of someone I loved dearly.

I know not done in same way, and please I am last person to judge, and oh my God I loved that brother, still do.

Again I apologize, deeply, please know I mean that from bottom of my heart.

I am so sorry I had apparent lapse of judgement, and cause you pain by such.

Aly

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W

I didn't go to the sites recommended, but I also did this many years ago. I read years ago that it was related to abuse issues. For what its worth, after alot of therapy I haven't stolen anything in a long, long time. I do remember the sense of "getting over" - empowerment to some degree, which would make sense for me, because of my abuse and anger issues.  Hope this helps, and I am sure Aly meant no harm. It is hard to "hear" other posters sometimes, through words alone. You are always welcome here, and I hope you get some answers. I know its a concern.

Sylvia

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Hi Aly, your apology means everything to me.  I'm not looking for validation that it is right, the self- hatred I carry because of this, makes me go nuts sometimes.  I guess what I was looking for was someone else who may suffer from this anomaly. 

I am sooo sorry to hear of your accident, and your brother.  I have only lost a parent, can't imagine what it would be like to lose a sibling.  There must be such searing pain there, I cannot imagine.  I hope you will soon be feeling better.  I hope you fully recover from your injuries, SOON!

The post following yours (sorry, bad memory can't remember name), made a point that struck home.  Maybe this problem did arise out of my ever so abusive childhood.  Even if that is the case, I am still culpable for my actions.  I own what I do, but find it so hard.  It is a contradiction of my normal personality. 

There is a group called Kleptomaniacs Anon.  It was created by a lawyer who was a klepto.  Unfortunately, for now, there are only groups in Detroit, MI, and New York, NY. 

I guess I need to press my therapist and pdoc more on this.

I am sorry if I offended you in anyway, and your apology was a brave thing to do.  It takes a decent and honest person to proffer an apology.  I whole heartedly accept your apology.  I know I need to temper what I say sometimes, especially if the anger has  a hold of me.

Maybe your post is what I need, a good kick in the ass!

Again Aly, thank you and God speed!

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Hey revlow, I went to the links you so nicely looked for me, thank you.  It is the same site I found, in reference to the lawyer who used to be a shoplifter.  While I would love to do even phone therapy with him, it is beyond my means at the present time.  I will call him and see if he knows of any specialists or groups in my area.  I am also going to look for his book on Amazon.com.

I also watched the Oprah specials relative to this.  I stopped for a while after I saw the show, but the temptation is ooohhhh so strong!

Sometimes I impose hybernation on myself, because I know I can't trust my self to go out alone sometimes. 

Anywho, it's time to go and eat, which for me is just another one of my problems.  It's so nice being here and being able to say things I would never normally do.  It is quite cathartic at times.

"Eschew obfuscation"

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Guest FrannyNZooey

Wackadoo you are so welcome. I am so relieved you were here to see my apology and posts from others.

I really was afraid I made someone feel unable to share here, that is last thing any of us want here.

As you see there are so many good people that really take all so as deeply as their own here, Hell that is what we are, a Community.

Love, Aly

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Thanks Aly and revlow.  I had bf order book from Amazon.com.  I think posting on here has made me more committed than ever to face this demon and conquer it. 

I have to before I get arrested again and go to jail.  I couldn't do jail, I suffer from extreme claustrophobia.  I find a way out before they sentenced me. 

I just woke up so I need a cup of coffee before I can make any sense.  I just wanted to get this post in ASAP.

I hope everyone has a decent weekend.

Viva la Crazyboards!

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I steal stuff. little stuff. nail polish. candy bars. stuff that I don't really need and doesn't cost much. i don't know why. I go through phases and seem to do it more when I am stressed. I feel very foolish. I am lucky I haven't been caught yet.

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  • 1 month later...

Wackadoo,

Don't know if you're stilll followning this thread. It looks like you have been given excellent advice (revlow - whoever you are, you are golden-hearted).

I want you to know my first three thoughts reading your intro. 

First, WOW!  This woman is doing a brave thing. It was palpable.

Unfortunately when reading old posts, it's like a movie - that is, you can't do much. I can see things were squared away but I know it must have hurt  when the first response you got wasn't "congratulations" .

Second,  your abusive childhood. The association was inescapable. Don't know what all went on, but seems to me, the feeling of deprivation alone would do it.  Can't think of  her name, but I remembered that movie star who was picked up for shop-lifting a few years ago.  I'll bet reading about her would be informative (she's probably discussed in many of the sites linked too).

Third, me.

I myself shoplift small items. Almost always in with a shopping cart chock full of other stuff. (Don't laugh)  dental floss, lipsticks, an eyebrow pencil I want to try but I know there's a very good chance it will jam or snap off first thing.  Even - eek - this IS embarrassing, small grocery items. Sometimes I eat things in the store, weighable things, or even try something and if I don't care for it, leave the rest of the bag on a shelf.  (I know this makes me into a terrible citizen and all, but when my mobility was better, I picked up litter on trails and in parks and I recycle everything and ... Yes, this DOES make one feel nekkid  :embarassed: ).

The only time I was caught was once when I (erp) ate most of a container of blueberries in a store - hesitated,  then tossed out the empty container before checkout. Get this, I also purchased about twenty boxes of the damned things!  It seemed to me there were a lot of hidden moldy ones and I figured that 5% was the least I was going to have to toss.

I was pulled aside and had to pay a  huge extortionate fine to the store headquarters (really a bribe so they didn't report it).  Had to turn in my "Special Shopper"  discount card!    :embarassed: Most of all, it was humilating.  And scary.

When I examine myself - why I do it (mostly "did",  as I am trying hard to stop), I find a few underlying themes.  Maybe my self-analysis will resonate a little here and there with you. 

(Gee, I started this to say, "good on you!" and it has turned into personal therapy instead.  I apologize for this derailment, but I think I'll let it stand.  It's been surprinsingly useful for me -  both to examine this odd symptom and also to "confess".  I have never  thought much about it until right now, nor have I told anyone in RL. )

1)  Self-Destructiveness.

It is an enormous risk to take for such a little "gain".  I live in a smallish town, and it would be the last straw to what's left of my reputation  if it were in the paper. 

As for my two kids, it would do them in too.  They're young men at this point  (chronologically, at least) and both major "problem children".  Ones I have stood by. at the expense of - well, my life basically.    Alone.  I  know know  know, their issues were  engendered by their father (one suffered traumatic brain injury by being shaken by his dad when he was a newborn - and so much more). Still,  I  majorly resent the enormous losses and grief in my life, caused less BY them than THROUGH them. Can

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i typed out a whole history of my klepto-ism but deleted it because after 10+ years of being 'clean', i still cannot talk about it.  still after all this time, no one knows what i've done or even that i have been arrested and served 40hours community service (and my step-father was in law enforcement at the time of my arrest). 

i'm still embarrased and ashamed of what i have done.

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(revlow - whoever you are, you are golden-hearted)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That is very kind of you to say.

So much of what you've written, your background, and insight into why you do what you do applies to me -- and I'm sure to many people here. Self-Destructiveness? Yup. Worry about Finances? Oh, god yes! A Feeling of Entitlement? Unfortunately, embarrassed to say, yes. Stress? Certainly, and MI doesn't help. Anger? Indeed.

So, I don't express these problems the same way you do, not through shoplifting. But I do in other very unhealthy ways. Doing my best to turn these tendencies around, and wish I were doing better at it. Many times it takes baby steps.

I hope that you will do whatever you can to take care of yourself, and especially to protect yourself from your abusive sons. No, you can't divorce yourself from kids, but you can set boudaries. You don't do them any favors by allowing them to abuse you. And if you necessary for your own safety, separating yourself might be needed, even if only temporarily.

I don't think you mentioned it...are they still living with you?

I just hope you will take care of yourself. It sounds like the situation with your sons is an enourmous contributor to your situation, to your urge to shoplift. "...at the expense of - well, my life basically." It's time to turn that around. Again, you're not doing them any favors or teaching them the lessons in life they need. I know that most (if not all) of the damage was done by their father, but you are contributing to that legacy by allowing them to treat you so abysmally.

Okay, enough lecturing from me. Please know that I care. I can feel how enormous the amount of shame is for the people who have written here. I have my own areas of deep shame (my inability to keep a job, my failed commitments, my ruined credit, living in my self-created squalor, and more).

I sincerely hope that writing here helps. Your writing is full of insight.

I heard something on Oprah yesterday that was so simple and resonated with me. It was a repeat of a show on cardiovascular disease, the number one killer of women. The cardiologist Dr. Mehmet Oz was a guest. Toward the end of the show he said there is a big difference between knowledge and understanding. Knowledge is when we know all the numbers, the stats, etc. Understanding is when we are faced with the reality (in this case, the effects of our life choices on our hearts, the disease these choices create), when we truly accept this reality and act upon it.

I've had knowledge for a long, long time of my unwise choices. It sounds like you have, too. It's undertanding this and putting what we know into action that counts. I hope we are both moving in that direction!

Best,

revlow

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revlow.

I'm going to keep this short no matter what.  I have to and seem to be too either/orish to be in-between.  So I'm sorry I can't reply to your thoughtful and thought-provoking comment (sounds like Ms Manners and believe me  my feelings run much deeper).

I tried to write you yesterday and got carried away with a screed that - well, maybe I'll post it another time (and maybe another board), but meanwhile I wanted above all to say

Thank you.

Thank you.  I needed that.

: - )

rt

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