DEAR ABBY: I will graduate from college in June and be a social worker. I am psychic, although I dislike that word because it conjures up visions of crystal balls, quacks and scams. For legitimate psychic individuals, it can be overwhelming to live this way.
I first noticed my ability when I was young, but I repressed it because my folks thought I was imagining things. It began to resurge in college. This school is haunted, so I have become used to daily interactions with ghosts -- often in the dead of night. I also notice that during client counseling sessions images will pop into my head. I once gave a classmate the "willies" by perfectly describing the garden in her backyard having never laid eyes on it. My adviser says I must never tell my clients the things I "see" in them because it will frighten them.
It's hard to separate my own thoughts and emotions from those of spirits around me. I'm concerned about my psychic ability in relation to my clients. If I pick up on abuse in the mind of a child, for example, am I obligated to report it?
Being psychic is as natural to me as my having blue eyes. It will never go away. I must now find the means to manage it. I don't want a career as a medium. I'm dedicated to the profession I have chosen. Can you offer me advice? -- GIFTED IN NEW YORK
DEAR GIFTED: Instead of using your visions to form judgments about your clients, use them to guide you during interviews. If you do, you will then be better equipped to provide concrete proof of the need for an intervention than revealing you "saw" something that others can't see or wasn't disclosed to you.
Many people have psychic abilities to a greater or lesser degree than you do, and those "vibes" can be invaluable. It is possible that your gift will give you insight into the individuals you will serve. I wish you success.
DEAR ABBY: My wife has turned into a bona fide slug! We have been married 30 years. For half of them she stayed fit and trim, but over the past 15 she has put on 100 pounds and refuses to try to lose any of it. She also refuses to cook. I have to cook my own meals or we eat out. She no longer cleans (we pay a maid) or has sex with me.
She is obviously depressed and has taken several medications over the years to no avail. She has had lab work done, but nothing shows up. Because she doesn't have a job, she sits around in her pajamas all day playing on the computer or reading romance novels. She'll do laundry, but only after a month, when there's nothing left to wear.
The other thing my wife likes to do is travel. The more expensive the trip, the more she loves it. Does God really expect me to live like this until I die? I have tried everything I can think of to help her. I dread going home every night. Advice, please? -- LIVING IN HELL IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR LIVING IN HELL: The marriage you have described isn't "living," it is existing. Insist, as a condition of staying in the marriage, that your wife have a thorough physical and psychological evaluation. She appears to be depressed, withdrawn and possibly not in touch with reality. Her physical health is also at risk.
Not every medication works on everyone. Your wife's weight gain may have made the dose she was taking ineffective -- or she may need a combination of drugs and talk therapy. Clearly she isn't happy in your marriage anymore either, if she's escaping into romance novels instead of having a relationship with you. Please get her the help she appears to so desperately need.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)