Question: Dear Luise: I have a question. What if you have been hurt so many times that you forgive and get on with your life, yet there still are certain people no matter how nice you are to them they send back negativity. How do you protect yourself? I know it is best to love all yet you can keep your distance. I still pray for the individuals but until I heal myself completely it is very hard for me to subject myself to any more pain. If that makes any sense. I guess what I am trying to say is I probably need more healing before I can put myself in that position. I know a lot of it is me. But just because you love somebody it does not mean you have to be best friends. Hope you understand what I am trying to say. How is the best way to deal with this situation regarding certain in-laws that make me feel uncomfortable? Its weird but I have always been able to sense danger or negative vibes from certain ones. What does that mean? Sincerely, Jeannie
Answer: Dear Jeannie: It probably means that you are super-sensitive. It can be very difficult for a truly sensitive person to cope with poorly concealed negativity of any kind. It can even take the form of not-so-subtle abuse, if nothing is done about it. There are people who let such things flow over them like water off a duck’s back…but it doesn’t sound like you’re one of them. You simply can’t fake it, when you are cut out of a different piece of cloth.
We marry the person we love and we get the luck of the draw with in-laws. If they aren’t supportive, sometimes it’s possible to create a geographical cure and move a long way away. Do you and your husband agree on what’s going on and how it’s affecting you? Is he sympathetic? You are going to need some serious support.
Marriage counseling would be a positive step because this must be affecting your relationship along with your well being. It’s not a new situation for a professional to address. That’s where I’d start if you have an understanding spouse. The two of you have created a new community and your next move is to band together to protect it.
If your husband doesn’t support you or won’t work on this with you, you need to seek counseling on your own. The way I see it, there’s probably an acute need for you to immediately establish some boundaries before the situation makes you physically ill. With professional help you will have a chance to be more objective and weigh your options. It’s time to get cracking on this one. Blessings, Luise