Confessions of a Kleptomaniac

[Note from the author (Akotowaa): This post is from the perspective of a fictional persona. The author has STATED that it is about keptomania. Any claims that it is NOT about kleptomania, then, are tragically invalid, thus attacks against the author will prove futile. Thank you.]

I am a kleptomaniac. A while ago, it would have been next to impossible for anyone to admit. These days, however, it’s great that human beings are finally becoming more accepting. I’m tired of all the prejudice, you see. People used to look at us kleptos like we were devil spawn, like we weren’t real people. But now, some countries and states are beginning to legalise kleptomaniac thievery. It’s beautiful. The world is obviously becoming a much better place.

I grew up as a Christian, went to Church every Sunday, and attended Sunday School. The pastors and teachers always reminded us what sin was and read verses from the Bible to convince us. So since then, of course I was made to think that stealing was one of the worst sins ever. Thanks to Exodus 20, I don’t even know how many times I’ve had to say the words “Thou shall not steal.” So, as I lived, I was a good person, never meant harm to anyone. Surely, I was a pretty model Christian kid.

But my tendencies begin to intensify beyond my own control as I reached adolescence. I don’t know, really. Things just started becoming way more attractive. A pencil over here, a sharpener over there, two dollars somewhere, five cedis somewhere else…I just had to have them. So I kept on taking,  and taking, and taking. It’s not as if I didn’t have stationery of my own, or pocket money, for that matter. I rarely ever needed the things I stole. I simply couldn’t help myself.

For a long while, I kept it undercover. I knew my devoutly Christian parents wouldn’t take it easily, not to think of the people at my Christian school or at Church. But more and more, I started to accept and grow in my identity. I knew by then that I was a kleptomaniac.

When I was 14, I finally came out. Predictably, my parents didn’t take it happily. I was thrown into Church and prayed for, as my parents paid preists to convert me “back” into a person I’d never been anyway.

Maybe these things would have worked, but the truth was…I didn’t actually want to change. I didn’t see anything wrong with kleptomania.  After all, we kleptos, contrary to the idea of bank robbers or muggers, don’t steal out of malice or jealousy. We steal from compulsion. It’s instinct. It’s natural.

I was born this way. And I can’t change, even if I tried.

They point to the Bible and say that sinners cannot be accepted into the gates of heaven, but aren’t they the same ones who say their God is one who loves all sinners without favourites? They say that I am able to change, but taking away the kleptomaniac in me is taking away my entire identity. If that is their idea of salvation, then I don’t want it.

They’re biased anyway. I don’t see them talking so severely about compulsive liars or cross-dressers. What makes one “sin” so much more dishonourable than another?

Anyway, I’m glad the world is finally accepting us as people. But I’ve got to go now. I have another klepto convention to attend. I wonder how many things I’ll be able to steal…

-Akotowaa

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