I am currently on leave of absense from my job which is training as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor. Note this is not the field I had intendened to go into after college. I have a preference to working with abused/neglected children but had difficulties finding an opening so I agreed to Drug/Alcohol Counseling. I walked into this job with a lifetime of experience under my belt. I had grown up around drugs and alcoholism (both parents were alcoholics- father passed on from it). As a child, I've had to deal with many traumatic events that NO child should ever be exposed to nor should they have the responsibility of handling volatile situations of the likes. Luckily, the events I've gone through with family and friends...has been the best deterant in my life against drugs and alcohol. I have never tasted beer, never took a puff of a cigerette nor tried any illegal drugs. I took this job at a rehab. center that focuses on support, adventure activites and spirituality. Seems great right? But 99.9 % of the counselors on staff are former addicts themselves!!!! One of them told me "Throw everything you've ever learned in college out the window. It's all about experience here." They (the counselors) use their own prior experiences with the stuggles of addiction to sympathize with the client to build a healthy, trusting relationship. Now me, who's never experienced an addiction (other than to stuff like soda and candy) cannot establish such a level with the clients. And the clients pick up on this, they look at me as if to say "Yeah, here comes the goody-goody from college. Like she knows what we're going through, HA!" A few days ago, I was sitting in on a group and listening to the clients life experiences....a few really hit home. All of the sudden I remembered my mother going through a similar experience (like the time she nearly died from alcohol poisioning, crawled into my room said she was dying and asked me to call the police...all this at 8 yrs of age). This brough up a whole bunch of emotions that I thought I had dealt with but apparently, I didn't do a very good job because they came right up. My mind sort of blocked out everything and I wasn't able to give the clients my full attention...I was literally speechless. Case and point: I've lived with drug/alcohol abuse for the majority of my life. I've experienced the destruction. As a child, I promised myself that I would never expose myself to it again...it would be out of my life for good. And now I find myself dealing with it again--both at work and at home. I am having a difficult time deciding if I should stay at this job.?.. Any thoughts would be GREATLY appreciated!!!! Also keep in mind that I have finanical reasons for terminating this: The pay is very little and compared to the expense of traveling to work everyday (yes it's quite a drive) it may not be worth it. Any thoughts?