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I Couldn't Stop Stealing Everything From Everyone
- Published on Jan 31, 2019
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Hi, this is Steve. Normally, people don’t speak up about things like this, because they think it’s shameful or scary. But don’t be afraid, Steve’s not crazy. But he is...a kleptomaniac. It all started as self-defense, but then turned into a catastrophe for him. This is what happened.
Steve remembers how the idea first came into his head. He wouldn’t really call what he did at that time stealing; instead he thinks of it as just getting revenge - hopefully you’ll understand. Danny, a popular guy in Steve’s class, had always treated his friends and him like garbage. His parents could afford more expensive clothes and stuff for him compared to the other kids. And suddenly, Steve thought to himself: do those things really make Danny better than me? NO!
One day Danny ridiculed Steve in front of the whole class, making fun of his cheap phone, and that was really the last straw. Steve grabbed Danny’s phone in the locker room and…just ran away. A thrill rushed through his body as he walked along. He waited for the police to track him down, and imagined a mad Danny once he found out that it was him who’d done it. He definitely couldn’t take the phone home, so he just flushed it down a cafe toilet.
The strangest thing was that he liked the feeling of taking things, and soon he started stealing small stuff from his classmates. Pencils, pens, badges…Every time, he was terrified that they would figure out it was him or, even worse, that Danny would finally discover who had taken his phone.
But the itch to take things was becoming stronger than his embarrassment and fears.
And so Steve felt that there was nothing he could do other than to start stealing things from somewhere outside the classroom - like in stores. In the beginning, he did it only once or twice a month. Soon though, he could no longer leave a shop without taking something “for free.” He did it every time he was stressed out, just to escape from his daily problems. Because you know, running away from teenage drama is nothing compared with escaping from cameras and police officers.
Then he found out that he didn’t actually need the things he took, or didn’t even want to steal them, but all the same he just couldn’t stop. It became his own personal disaster. His hands were doing it all for him, beyond his control. He would even open cereal boxes just to get the free toys inside, every time he went grocery shopping!
Steve knew that he had a problem, but he had to struggle with it on his own. Stealing is not a disorder, it’s criminal by nature - at least that’s what he thought, imagining that there would be an unhappy ending for him behind bars. No future, no way out.
And then he met Julie. She was the most incredible girl he’d ever met. She was gorgeous and kind. She was different, you know…And from day one he knew she would never knowingly date a kleptomaniac. Julie was just that kind of person, with high moral standards. For the most part, he agreed with all the things she would talk about, BUT deep inside he knew that he was not that person himself.
He tried harder than ever to stop shoplifting… he tried to train himself to resist. When he went into a store, he kept repeating to himself inside his head (and sometimes even mumbling out loud): “I won’t steal. I won’t steal. I won’t steal.” And you know what? It was useless. And so he felt that his life was over. His greatest fear was not that he would get caught and ruin everything. All he cared about at this point was Julie - what if she figured out who he really was, and started to hate him?
So Steve decided to take a radical step, and confess to her before she learned about it another way. He was afraid she would hate him. He was afraid she would dump him. But she didn’t. Instead, she started to fight for him, to try to save him from himself. That was the kind of person she was!
Julie suggested shopping together so that there was always someone to keep an eye on him. She tried to make stealing really hard for him. From then on he would only go outdoors without a bag. He started wearing clothes with tiny pockets or none at all. Julie even sewed shut the pockets of his coats!
And it worked! For two weeks or so, Steve was a normal guy with the best girlfriend in the world. Yet, inside he was always afraid that his dark habit would return.
And then one day he stole a chocolate bar...
If you want to know how it all ended, watch the full video!
Music by Epidemic Sound: www.epidemicsound.com
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