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I lived a lie, and lied about it: stealing made me feel good – Heather’s Story

I struggled with respecting and obeying my parents when I was growing up.shoplifting

I felt like the difficult situation I was in gave me the right to do whatever I wanted.

My biological dad passed away when I was only 6, then my mom re-married my step-dad, who was verbally abusive to us.  I felt that I deserved to do whatever made me feel good since I had been hurt so bad.

I lied and snuck around behind my parents’ backs – a LOT!  

It started with little things: like sneaking candy or telling them I ate all my vegetables when I really spit them in my napkin.  The more I was sneaky and dishonest, the easier it became and the quieter my conscience got.

Those little things turned into BIGGER things: like, skipping school, and sneaking out of my window at night to get drunk and high on drugs and have sex with my boyfriend, and…  stealing clothes from the mall.

 I loved the power these things gave me and how they made me feel like I was in control of my life.  I remember the rush I got from taking clothes into the dressing room at my favorite store with my friend and giggling as we put our clothes back on over our favorite items then casually walked out of the store as if we hadn’t done a thing – my heart beating out of my chest the whole way.  It was hilarious and terrifying at the same time!

One time, I almost got caught stealing cosmetics from a grocery store.  My friend and I took several items into the bathroom, threw away the packaging and stuffed the items in our purses like they were ours.  Someone saw us go into the bathroom and reported us.  We got the feeling we were being watched as we left the store and booked it to the car as soon as we got outside!  As we sped away, I looked behind us and saw two store managers run outside and watch us drive away with their hands up in the air!  We were laughing hysterically.  I loved that I could live this exciting, dangerous life; all the while putting on an act for my parents that I was being a responsible person.

The things I did (that I knew I shouldn’t have been doing) made me feel good while I was doing them, they gave ME pleasure, so I didn’t care who I was hurting – even if it was my parents or even God.  I felt like God owed me something for making my life so hard by taking away my dad.  

All my behavior did, was fill my heart with guilt, shame and loneliness.

Since I was dishonest for so long and made my parents (and everyone else) believe I was someone I really wasn’t, I had isolated myself from them. I could no longer go to them with my problems, or my hurt, or to ask for advice in making important decisions because I  hid everything from them!  I hid so much that I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

It made me numb and hardened my heart.  My parents didn’t know what was going on in my thoughts and in my heart since I had hidden everything from them, so they didn’t know I needed counsel.  So I was left to myself, to keep living my life my way, to deal with the consequences of my own selfish decisions alone.

I didn’t realize until many years later – years full of bad decisions – that my bitterness and rebellion was destroying me.

I knew something had to change and I knew I couldn’t do it alone.

At just the right time, an old friend of mine started inviting me out to a Lovely Group.  It was uncomfortable and awkward at first to meet new people and share my secrets with them, but I saw how happy they all were and I wanted that.

Their friendliness, encouragement and non-judgmental attitudes towards me kept me coming back over and over until I had not only gained a new perspective and the strength and confidence I needed to make necessary changes in my life, but I had also gained some very special friends who I know I can depend on and turn to in times of trouble.  I know they will encourage me and lift my spirits every time I go and I am so thankful for them!

I used to lie, steal, and sneak.

Now, I am Lovely.