As most of you know, I had major surgery a few weeks ago. This was the first time in a very long time that I’ve been in hospital – either as a patient or as a visitor – and I haven’t stolen something.
That’s right. Confession time: I have kleptomania in hospitals.
I have a rare collection of hospital cutlery, soaps, moisturisers, scissors, tape, water jugs, pillow cases, heat packs…. almost anything I could lay my hands on.
Why? Who knows. What I do know is the anxiety that usually overwhelms me in hospitals that is momentarily calmed by a bit of thieving.
My therapist thinks it’s about having the “opportunity”. I know she’s the Wonder Therapist, but this time I think she’s wrong. I think it’s about a search for safety.
I can remember the first time I tried to hurt myself. I think I was about 10 or 12, or somewhere around there. I tried to break my hand so that I’d get a few days in hospital – respite from the hell at home.
So I think the kleptomania is about a search for safety. Lifting a token of safety from the safest of environments to take with me and keep me safe when at home.
I didn’t feel a need to do that this time. I don’t know why. More of the magic of therapy, perhaps?