I am currently incarcerated. It has taken a long time for me to get at this point in my life to ask for forgiveness.
I am tired of the shame and embarrassment that I have caused myself and my family. I have been wronged by the things that I have consistently done for the past 39 years of my life.
I’ve always used age and childbirth as an excuse as to why I shoplifted. In reality, my son was always taken care of by my mother, who was a very, very supportive mother and grandmother. I was introduced to shoplifting at an early age, by a good (I thought good) friend.
I began to live for stealing. I felt that I was born for stealing. Even when I got caught at 15 years old, it seemed to boost my adrenaline and the more I got away with it, the more it hyped me up.
I only wanted to do more and more. I’ve never been one to take from one’s home or person. I always thought, “The store has insurance on things that are taken. It will be replaced. Take all you want from there!”
If you take what a person has worked hard for, you will more than likely end up in a casket, and I didn’t want to be someone’s life story. Instead I would be a bunk number with a Texas Department of Criminal Justice number tailing my name for the third time — twice for my own crime and once for someone that had no conscious and wasn’t true to herself. I’m not boasting or bragging, but I’ve stolen so much that I could own my own business.
I heard a song before that said “He had stole dreams and weddings rings, auctioned out my soul for material.” I was one of those people that thought I wanted the best for my son and family, so if I could steal it, I would get it.
There was nothing that was too good for us, meaning my son, mother, boyfriend and myself. I didn’t always steal for a hobby. I also stole for drugs, but God took that away. I’ve been drug-free since September 2003. Thank you Lord! I wish that I could have been stronger in faith about shoplifting.
I wish that I could have taken a Bridges to Life class so many years ago. I now realize that I do have a belief system.
I am no longer considering myself a kleptomaniac. I pray every night to remove/rebuke this curse and so far, God is working in my favor.
I am responsible for my actions. It is now that I take full responsibility for my life and take into accountability the mistakes, the actions that were in my life. I have learned that my confession of my sins in prayer will save me. Through the repentance and forgiveness that I ask for in prayer, I now have a totally different outlook about how I’m going to live the rest of my life.
I want to express my deepest apology to everyone and all the stores that I have committed an offense against. I’m ashamed of my past life, but I will be forgiven.
Frinchisia D. Abercrombie of Nacogdoches has five theft convictions and is currently inmate 2203282 in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She wrote this column while in prison at the Plane Unit in Dayton. She’s projected to be released in June 2020.