For anyone who is estranged from family members will know, it feels very isolating and a lonely place to be.

11 years ago, it seemed to be a subject that no-one talked about and grandparents told me they felt ashamed of their situation.

How things have changed in those 11 years.

Estrangement has moved on.

Wherever you are just sitting on a bus or train, waiting in a queue in the supermarket I guarantee that if you start up a conversation and the person you find yourself talking to will either be estranged themselves or know someone who is.

So has estrangement/alienation  been normalised?

You can pick many websites or forums with some of the most disturbing posts and comments on family members. Other sites that will actually tell you how to cut out a family member.

I am in no doubt at all that this has reached epidemic proportions.

It has become totally acceptable to stop children having a loving and caring relationship with both parents and extended family. Children are growing up believing that families are not important. If you happen to not get on with someone, you just stop seeing them, and bad mouth them whenever possible. It is ok to paint a false picture of a parent or grandparent, to demonise them is the way forward.

The reality for those on the receiving end of this is total desperation, is that once again we hear of a Dad who ended his life as he couldn’t carry on without his children in his life.

I often wonder what is said to the children when these tragedies happen, I am sure that they are not told the truth.

There will aways be difficult relationships, there will always be family members you don’t get on with, but to cause children this trauma is unacceptable in all its forms. The children will carry many questions for the rest of their lives, they will never know how much they were loved, from a distance.

The suffering continues for everyone.

So, yes, it has become the norm.

Jane