Add an Adjustment Layer (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > …) and paint on its Layer Mask (black to hide, white to show).
I made several selections of areas to exclude from adjustments to be made in that layer. How are they now identified as excluded?
Could you please post a screenshot with the pertinent Panels (with meaningful Panel Options) visible?
An active Selection when creating an Adjustment Layer will by default be used as a positive Layer Mask.