Tough times

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    Hi all,

    After abit of impartial advice as obviously friends are biased and I am really stuck.

    Split with husband 8 years ago, I agreed to the exact access to our daughter he requested; one night in the week and alternate weekends. Throughout the time my daughter was in school I had to do all school runs even on his days as ‘he works’, (so did I) so I either worked hours to fit around daughter or I paid for school clubs until I finished etc, he didn’t even take her to school while I was laid up with a broken foot! School holidays were down to me to organise childcare.

    Throughout these 8 years there have been many issues but the worst being daughter struggling with panic attacks prior to him to collecting her and begging me not to send her but then when he speaks to her she won’t tell him and goes. At one point it was so bad I did stop access as I felt I couldn’t continue sending her whilst she was getting in such a state and tried to discuss issues with him, we attended mediation but as soon as we were away from that he was back to playing with her head and causing her upset again. She is incredibly negative about her father’s home, she has raised flags with the authorities about his alcoholism and the volatile relationship he has with his partner, she has also raised many other complaints which are concerning but these being the main two.

    My daughter has severe dyslexia and various signs of being on the spectrum for which I have been battling for help and testing for 10years, she is violent, aggressive and very controlling towards me (only me!). Despite all of the above the last 2 times she has been violent towards me she has decided that she will stay at her Dads, she has stated both times this is because when there she does not have to face the actions of her behaviour as there are no consequences there.

    She shows no respect to figures of authority and does not feel rules need to be adhered to, which absolutely breaks my heart this isn’t how I have raised her. The support I have in place for her is through CAHMS and I have attended several workshops in an attempt to find help with the issues.

    This time that she decided not to come home I felt I had no choice but say I wasn’t prepared to take her back home permanently until we discussed how things will change as she is now refusing the help I had finally managed to put in place, this means she won’t be tested for the spectrum nor will she receive the anger management or the counselling as she has signs of body dysmorphia and possible eating disorder. Her Dad was very negative about her attending this and I feel it is his influence that has changed her mind on this.

    Now she has told me her Dad and his partner have been bullying her into agreeing to do a split custody of a week at his a week at mine, from all of the negative speak about his house I do not feel this is going to benefit at all. Also feel that it’s only now that she is self sufficient and she can provide childcare to the younger children in his home that he wants her more. I don’t feel that it will help the situation with her violence etc as we have very different parenting styles. I don’t believe it will be split responsibility despite split time as he has never once attended a hospital/doctor/dentist/opticians appointment, he has attended 3 parents evenings in total.

    I am very aware that she may also be negative speaking about me, and that some of what she has reported may be exaggerated or untrue.

    So my question is, would I be wrong to fight this new access they are pushing for? It does not feel right to me. My daughter said maybe we can do it for a couple of months then go back just to keep them happy…but it’s not that simple, as I dont feel he would agree to swoping back if it goes in place, also obviously this will have financial implications.

    Sorry for the length of this just trying to give background. I would appreciate any feedback as I want to do the right thing for my daughter!

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