Life Advice



Ask Amy: Aunt is triggered by trans teen’s trauma

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Last year one of my sister's children came out to me as trans.

“S” asked to stay with me because of the trauma of being around their mostly conservative and media-illiterate family.

S has been living with my husband and me for a year.

In many ways having S stay with us has been an amazing opportunity for growth, but I continually run afoul of them by talking about commonalities in our experiences.

They make assumptions and rebuff me when I try to communicate about my own experiences.

As someone on my own mental health journey, I find this incredibly hurtful.


I get that I DO NOT understand what it is to be trans, but I do understand various other aspects of trauma, and want to talk about it.

I know I need to be “the adult” in the situation, but it’s painful when they don't accept my experiences as valid.

My husband thinks I should ignore my feelings. I have a hard time with confrontation and S flips out if they are ever put in the position of being in the wrong.

My husband and I are prioritizing them over just about everything else.


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