Why Do My Parents (divorced) Dump Their Trauma Onto Me?

Why do my parents (divorced) dump their trauma onto me? Whenever I mention I feel upset with something at school or if I don’t feel comfortable doing something, they start using their trauma against me and can’t sympathize.

It is called passive aggressive communication

Passive-Aggressive communication is a coping mechanism. It is created as a way to survive a dysfunctional relationship dynamic. Passive-aggressive behavior is a pattern of indirectly expressing negative feelings instead of openly communicating and addressing them. There is a disconnect between what a person who exhibits passive-aggressive behavior says and what he or she does.

LEARN TO STOP OPENING THE DOOR FOR THEM TO DUMP ON YOU. Do not tell them you are upset about anything, nothing, absolutely nothing. I repeat, DO NOT tell them you are upset. Don’t bring up anything about your life. If they ask…Smile. And say, “Everything is going well.” or “All is well.” If they bring up their tale of woes, be compassionate without working to make things better for them. “I understand you are upset about that. I know you will get through it.” Change the subject or walk away.

You need guidance and support

You need to confide to a friend or a family member who you can trust to keep confidentiality. Also, consider a friend’s parent whom you can trust to keep confidentiality.

Coping mechanisms are learned as one experiences life growing up. Examples of unhealthy coping mechanisms include, but are not limited to:

  • Drinking alcohol to excess or using drugs
  • Avoiding the problem
  • Bottling up emotions
  • Working too much or using other distractions
  • Denial
  • Accusing and Blaming
  • Verbal Abuse disguised as jokes
  • Withholding
  • Countering
  • Discounting
  • Blocking and diverting
  • Judging and criticizing
  • Trivalizing
  • Threatening
  • Name Calling
  • Ordering
  • Abusive anger

An excellent book to learn to deal with anyone who is chronically manipulative is, Games People Play by Eric Berne, M.D. Everyone needs this book, because 96% of people play games in personal and professional relationships.

Games People Play revolutionized our understanding of what really goes on during our most basic social and business interactions. More than five million copies later, Dr. Eric Berne’s classic is as astonishing–and revealing–as it was on the day it was first published. The anniversary edition features a new introduction by Dr. James R. Allen, president of the International Transactional Analysis Association, and Kurt Vonnegut’s brilliant Life magazine review from 1965. Some people play games all the time–such games are sexual games, marital games, power games with bosses, bosses with their employees and competitive games with friends. Detailing status contests like “Martini” (I know a better way), to lethal couples combat like “If It Weren’t For You” and “Uproar,” to flirtation favorites like “The Stocking Game” and “Let’s You and Him Fight,” Dr. Berne exposes the secret ploys and unconscious maneuvers that rule our lives in our personal and professional relationships. Explosive when it was first published.

Games People Play is now widely recognized as the most original and influential popular interpersonal relationship book of our time. It’s as powerful and eye-opening today as it was when it was first published.


Dorothy M. Neddermeyer, Ph.D.

Anxiety is characterized by feelings of tension, worry, fear thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure, feeling lightheaded, hands trembling, and other signs of distress. The causes of anxiety are complex.

~Eric Berne (May 10, 1910 – July 15, 1970) was a Canadian-born psychiatrist best known as the creator of transactional analysis. Eric was born as Eric Lennard Bernstein in Montreal, Canada. He and his sister Grace, who was five years younger than Eric, were the children of a physician and a writer, David and Sara Gordon Bernstein. David Bernstein died in 1921, and the children were raised by their mother.

Published: November 2, 2022