I Have Kleptomania.
I'm so relieved that I found this group because I always thought I was alone in this struggle. I've had a stealing problem as long as I can remember... When I was a toddler I would steal toys from my preschool and hide them under my dress. In elementary school I would take pens and rubber bands from the teacher's desk when the room was empty and sometimes I would go around to people's backpacks and take their keychains. I've always known that what I do is wrong, and when I get caught I feel so humiliated. I know better but I can't stop. Trying to resist the urge to steal is almost impossible, and when I finally give in I get a happy high knowing I just acquired something new. I've stolen clothes, makeup, jewelry from my friends, things from the people I babysit for, and I used to steal from my parents until they caught me once at age 12. I got in so much trouble and now I only take from friends or strangers. One time I was at a sleepover and a girl had left her backpack open. I couldn't resist! I told myself I would only look around and I was in the act of opening her wallet when I heard her walking towards the room. Hurredly I put the wallet back but she still saw me with my hand in her backpack. I tried to distract her by starting an unrelated conversation but I knew she knew and it was horrible. The guilt from what I do is immense, but still I crave the high.
Lately my best friend has been ignoring me. She wont tell me why and I've been thinking about what I could have done and it occurred to me that I stole from her wallet and took some shirts from her when we were on a vacation together last month. There's no way she could have known unless there were hidden cameras or something but what else could it be? I feel so guilty. I'm too embarrassed to talk to her and find out if that's even the real issue. I can't take the risk.
I want so badly to stop but every day is a struggle. I tell myself that I don't need the thing I want to steal, that people will notice that I have something of theirs, or that my mom will want to know where I got this new thing. This can only end with me behind bars when I finally steal something of value. Do you guys know how this feels?