Hugs to all those 

 with estranged children. You are not alone. I see you.

By Arforbes

Leaving an abusive  

marriage after nearly 25 years, the author faced manipulation and character attacks when seeking child and spousal support.

Despite being the  

primary caregiver for decades, the ex-spouse attempted to portray the author as unfit, resorting to classic tactics of manipulation and control.

The author's children, 

 influenced by their father's tactics or their own emotions, sided against her, adding to the emotional toll of the situation.

Holidays, especially 

 Mother's Day, have become painful reminders of family estrangement, highlighting the lack of support and understanding from society.

Struggling with the absence of a traditional family unit, the author finds solace in her small circle of friends, mother, and dog.

The societal emphasis  

on family exacerbates the author's feelings of isolation and loss, particularly when faced with well-meaning but painful greetings from strangers and friends.

The narrative of being a "bad mother" perpetuated by the abuser and echoed by the children serves to justify mistreatment and erode the author's sense of self-worth.