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Im Starting to Worry

I have been a klepto for as long as I can remember. I was asked once what the first thing I ever stole was. I said "oh thats easy" and then I stopped and realized I couldn't remember. As the years went on I started having memories "drop out" of my consciousness. I knew they were there because I could see the end or beginning of them but somehow I was blocking out the substance. Now, at 38, I am realizing just how profound my memory dumping has become. This year I finally shared with my girlfriend that I have a problem with K. She cannot even begin to understand. I have never shared, ever, not with best friends, not with relatives, never. Since I started sharing with her I have tried to consciously control my urges. Sometimes to defeat an urge I will just tell her when it is happening. She won't let me do it. Today I lost my battle with impulse when she was not with me. I have avoided stealing a certain thing now for months and I finally couldn't take it anymore. I had to. Now I feel a little ashamed. It was a clock from a hospital. I didn't need it. Even after a lifetime of stealing I cannot understand the nature or source of my impulses. The hospital clock impulse was so strong that it literally felt like a real battle, for months. I finally lost. Not just any clock, that clock. I didn't need a clock. I don't even like it. There are a thousand like it in that hospital but I lost sleep over that one. I guess I have built a little bit of a religion around this. I have very specific rules that govern my stealing that I will never break. Maybe later I will share this. Some of it is pretty twisted and I'm not terribly comfy right now. Now I'm becoming a little worried because I thought I sensed some other impulse inside me changing the rules. It said to not conceal the clock. It said to just walk out with it in my hand in plain view. This is a large clock. Now I've never been caught and assumed that I never would. But if I didn't conceal my clock I would have been caught. This new impulse goes against my religion totally. It feels like it is a foreigner inside me. I think I might be being punished for resisting my impulse for so long. I am seriously considering trying to find some help. I don't know where to start.

About me: I am a 38 yo white professional male. Suit and tie type. No illnesses or medications, no criminal history, not even a speeding ticket. I have no history of mental illness and graduated MCL from a top 25 university. None of my friends know except my girlfriend. None of them would believe it if they found out.

I always thought, in a way that I was in control but this new impulse is dangerous to my freedoms and social welfare. Am I being punished? Should I stop resisting and go back to full time?

kmahn kmahn 36-40 2 Responses Nov 10, 2008

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you've lost this time again.<br />
but you've resisted for months, and that's awesome.<br />
you never got caught, which is a good thing.<br />
but for most people, when they get caught, they're<br />
entire life changes. they see things in a different perspective,<br />
as a klepto, you know what you are doing is wrong. it's harmful and you hate it, you just want to stop.<br />
there are treatments, but what really works is resistance.<br />
<br />
you started to resist, why not just try to go cold-turkey?<br />
it's hard, you definitely crave to steal something, but what gives? try to keep your hands in your pockets and tell yourself repeatedly, i don't need this.<br />
<br />
and then go on a rant in your mind, like<br />
i don't need this i don't even know where i'm going to put it in my room where am i going to leave it how am i suppose to explain to someone if they ask it's not even worth it is it worth me getting caught arrested fingerprinted me getting a court case probation paying a hundred dollars for a mandatory class called stop-lifting?<br />
<br />
going a rant in your mind keeps your mind busy to the point you forget to steal something. and leave wherever you are, if you can. <br />
<br />
i'm not a klepto but many of my friends got caught.<br />
treatments did not help some of them. but the part where they got arrested and that their whole world knew was enough to embarass them and that kind of feeling was even worst than the urge to steal. they stopped amazingly.<br />
<br />
i think this should help? sorry, if it's not much.

"Name it. Tame it. Claim it.<br />
" You've named it both here and to your girlfriend, so that's a start. I know you feel like you are being punished, and that sort of thinking shows the complexity of the problem. People don't get punished for NOT doing the wrong thing. They get rewarded for doing the right thing. This is bigger than you and you should get some help. <BR>K9 said it well. Karma will come around, eventually you will be caught, and the consequences will be painful.