DEAR ABBY: I was recently hired for a job I have wanted for years. I am a counselor for troubled teens. I love it, and I empathize with those I work with. (Ten years ago, I was a teen placed in a similar facility for some of the same reasons.)
The problem is, when I was in a dark period of my life, I was a cutter. I still have deep scars on one arm that are noticeable. How do I handle this now that I'm in the psychological field? I don't wish to go into detail about my past, as that would be poor boundaries as an employee and counselor. But it's hard to avoid with hot summer weather here and my past literally "on my sleeve."
Please help. Some actions have permanent consequences. I hope this will remind other cutters that their wounds may be something they wish they could undo once they are emotionally healed. -- NAMELESS IN AMERICA
DEAR NAMELESS: I hope your comments will remind other cutters not only that actions have consequences, but also that there are more effective solutions for emotional pain than self-injury. This is something you should discuss with your employers. My thinking is, if your clients see your scars, it may help them to talk about their own cutting, which would be therapeutic.