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Cutter needs to forgive herself first, get therapy

Dear Annie: About a year ago, after talking to a nice guy who could also be a royal pain — especially when things don’t go his way — I decided to let him into my heart. I did this even though I am usually pretty well guarded and don’t allow too many people close to me. I am one of those people who don’t feel comfortable sharing my emotions with others, so there are very few people who are aware of the fact that I self-harm by using a razor blade to cut into my arms and, sometimes, legs.

When we argue, he will call me a series of names that are extremely hurtful. During a recent argument over something really stupid, he screamed at me, saying that I should cut deep enough in order to die. Afterward, I did cut for a while just to make me feel better, but it didn’t. The next day, he acted as if nothing had happened, and I have tried to forgive him for what he said, but I don’t know if I can find a way to do so.

I am confused about whether I should just forget about what was said or if I should hold onto the hurt feelings. — Confused and In Love

Dear Confused and In Love: The first person you have to forgive is yourself for cutting. The way your boyfriend is treating you is no good. You deserve to be treated better, but before anyone in a relationship is going to do that, you have to treat yourself better and stop cutting.

Self-injury through physical pain can relieve the emotional pain. But first, you have to deal with the emotional pain with a trained therapist, preferably one who specializes in cutting. Please try to not be hard on yourself. You sound like such a wonderful person, and with the right support team in place, I have no doubt that you will find true love, both with another and for yourself.

Dear Annie: I met a wonderful woman eight years ago, and ever since, we have basically lived together. When we first met, we were both coming off a divorce, and we agreed that we didn’t want to get married ever again.

Now she would like to get married. I have no problem with that; however, I have to look at our future together. At age 62, I am nearing retirement. She is 55.

I have to look at the fact that Social Security reduces your benefits by a substantial amount if you are married. We are not well-off and need Social Security to survive in the future. I know this isn’t very romantic, but sometimes you have to be practical. Thanks in advance for your advice. — Practical Bill

Dear Practical Bill: Love is not practical. If you both would like to get married, then get married. Life is too short.

(Lane is a columnist with Creators Syndicate.)

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