DEAR ABBY: I’ve always been sensitive, but it has gotten worse since I became a mom a year ago. I dread watching or reading the news for fear of seeing a child, parent or animal has been hurt or mistreated. I’m a religious person, and I find myself asking God why bad things happen.
I know the tragic stories tend to make the headlines, but how would you suggest I learn to still see the good in the world? I can’t quit seeing the news. We are inundated. I just wish the negativity of the world didn’t get to me like it does. Advice, Abby? — SUPER SENSITIVE IN KENTUCKY
DEAR SUPER SENSITIVE: That you have recently become a mother and are responsible for a helpless little person may have something to do with your feelings. But please don’t judge the whole world or the people in it by the horror stories featured in the headlines, because they are misleading. Many people do positive things to help their neighbors and their communities that don’t make the news. Consequently, we hear less about them.
I combat feelings like those you are experiencing by taking a “vacation” from reading or watching the news for a few days or a week when I think it is affecting me emotionally. I suggest you try it. Also, while your schedule as a new mother may be a busy one, if you can make the time, consider volunteering at your local library or a senior citizens’ center. If you do, it may help you feel less helpless, knowing you are not only doing something positive but also making a significant difference in someone else’s life.
DEAR ABBY: I have never been in love before, and I have just learned the man I’m seeing is a former felon. It was nothing having to do with sexual violence or killing anyone. I’m afraid if my family finds out, they will judge him. He works seven days a week and lives in a shelter because most places don’t want to rent to felons. He treats me good and takes me out for dinners.
Maybe I’m stupid for not being judgmental, but he’s a good person who has served his time for his crimes, and he’s still being punished. Are people like him not allowed to be in love and have families too? — IN LOVE IN NEBRASKA
DEAR IN LOVE: People make mistakes. People “like him” also fall in love, marry and have families. While there is bias against individuals with prison records, the fact that they served time does not guarantee they can’t go on to live successful lives after their release. Explain that to your family, and suggest they take the time to get to know him before jumping to conclusions and making any final judgments.
DEAR ABBY: I have been retired for a little more than a year, and I enjoy it, except for one problem. My husband seems to think that since I’m home, I should be constantly busy — cleaning, cooking, doing SOMETHING. He accuses me of being lazy. I think he may be jealous that I don’t work anymore. What do you think? — RETIREE IN GEORGIA
DEAR RETIREE: I think you may have hit the nail on the head. Things might improve if you tell him less often how much you’re enjoying it.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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