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Dear Abby: Girl who is self-injuring needs to talk

Dear Abby: I’m a 15-year-old girl. For the last year, I have been self-injuring. I take a sharp object and scrape the skin off until it bleeds. My mom saw the scars on my arm. I have 15 other ones, but she doesn’t know about them.

I have to keep lying to her, and it hurts. I want to stop, but I can’t. How can I tell her I lied? I know she will be very upset.

– Stuck in Utah

Dear Stuck: Go to your mother, tell her that you need to talk to her about something important but that you are afraid she will be angry with you. Ask her to hear you out before she reacts. Then tell her everything you have told me and ask for her help. That’s what mothers are for.

If necessary, show her your letter to me and my response because she needs to understand that when individuals self-injure, it is often to cope with serious depression – which is an illness – and it takes the help of a mental health professional to stop.

Take it slow, lovesick boy

Dear Abby: I am an eighth-grader in junior high, and there is a girl I really like. My problem is I’m afraid to tell her I love her.

I know she likes someone else and wants to go out with him, but I don’t know if she likes me. When I’m home, I write her poems, and I want to drop them off at her locker, but I’m scared to. We are in three classes together. Do you have any advice?

– Nervous Boy

Dear Nervous Boy: Yes. If you’re smart, you’ll wait until that girl is over her crush before declaring your feelings for her. The boy she has her eye on may or may not be interested in her. But as long as she’s fixated on him, she won’t be receptive to a romance with you, and it could be embarrassing if you say anything prematurely. The same goes for anonymously dropping off your literary efforts at her locker.

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