A not so Merry Christmas: coping as an estranged, alienated or rejected parent
Christmas is a family time, filled with love, joy and excitement. At this time of year we are surrounded with images of the ideal family, gathered together in harmony. Messages of “peace, love and goodwill to all men” and unrealistic expectations of a “perfect family Christmas” are often unwelcome seasonal features, even for those who have separated amicably.
For those struggling with hostility, conflict or an acrimonious split, the festive season can be filled with dread and deep sorrow. Frustration, jealousy, anger, regret and guilt can dominate and overwhelm – especially where any thoughts of sharing this most precious of times with the children you love are snatched away by estrangement or alienation. While all around you seem to be enjoying perfect family celebrations, you may feel more isolated and alone than at any other time of the year.