I make enough money and I have enough money. But, when I go through the self-checkout at the store, I really really want to steal things, and sometimes I do. I’m not exactly sure what’s behind this. I often feel like life is so expensive and I’m being ripped off. I am resentful that I am stuck spending life working at a job I don’t like to pay for things that are too expensive. So when I steal, I feel like I have leveled the playing field a little bit. Like, okay well good, I’m still in control here.
I’m trying not to pathologize this, but I’m interested in diving into it more because I know I have a scarcity mindset. I guess I could start by allowing the urge to steal, but then I think I’ll have to feel resentment. Because really, I guess I DON’T think that there is “enough” money. I feel like everybody is just bleeding me dry with expenses, and I cut them down to a pretty bare minimum but I can’t help but be thinking “$100 for the gym?” “$23 for a yoga class?” “$500 a month for food?” I cut back and cut back and cut back on my expenses, but it feels like life is just too expensive and it’s unsustainable to have to keep paying for things to live in this society.
So that’s my thought process. When I steal, I feel kind of vindicated. I kind of feel like I’m leveling the playing field, I’m winning. Getting ahead. I’ll try to put this in some models.
C: in self-checkout line at store
T: I’m going to steal this
F: Urge to steal
R: I stole it
Hmm that model isn’t very helpful. I guess I don’t know what feeling causes the urge to steal. I think it is scarcity. Yeah, that’s it. But what thought causes the feeling of scarcity? Well, I think it’s all the ones I mentioned:
“There isn’t enough”
“This is unsustainable”
“Everything is so expensive”
“I work so hard for this money I should get to keep it”
“Money doesn’t come to me easily”
“Everyone has their hand in my pocket”
Ultimately, I don’t believe that the universe has my back when it comes to money. I believe I have to work really hard for it, and then I’m resentful of having to spend it. Then I steal to feel better. I steal to feel like, “you wronged me, and now I’m gonna screw you over without you even knowing”.
I used to steal from my brother and my parents when I was a kid. I was fired from my first job for stealing money, so this is an interesting pattern isn’t it?
I’d steal from my brother when he was mean to me and my parents took his side. I’d sneak into his room and take a few coins with the thought “haha you little asshole, who wins NOW?”. Kind of as a silent eff you to him.
I’d steal from my parents too. If they were mean to me or something, I’d go take a $20 out of their wallet and hoard it in my bedroom. Also as a silent eff you. “You think you’re in control? Yeah, think again.” It was my way of getting back at them without really having to face them.
And now I do this at the grocery store. I’m mad that everything is so expensive, so I take something.
I’m actually pretty confused by my behaviour, but I know that part of it is that I want to get ahead?
Is this a buffering behaviour? Like I had mentioned I have a scarcity mindset and want to better understand it. I think I feel like I’m getting ripped off by everybody.
I’m kind of confused, and would like to better understand my models around this topic. Any help is appreciated!!