Dear Coleen: I left ‘toxic’ lover and her meddling mum but I miss my baby girl

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Dear Coleen

Me and my now ex- have split up due to various family issues: interfering (her mum), depression (me), lack of trust (my ex) and more.

All three of us have been violent to some extent, but only her mother has physically harmed her.

We also have a child together who is just nine months old.

I decided to walk away, which I know sounds bad, but I believe that being in a toxic environment and fighting daily with my child’s mother and grandmother will damage her.

And if not seeing my for a while is the answer, then I will do it.

I don’t want contact with my ex or her mother – she has great influence over her and our daughter too.

I feel powerless. I am, however, looking into legal routes for access or joint custody because I miss my little one.

Any advice?

Coleen says

I don’t think walking out does sound bad. I think you felt it was the only route open to you. It sounds like an incredibly toxic environment for your daughter to grow up in.

The next step for you is to go down the legal route to gain access to your daughter. What you don’t want is her growing up believing you didn’t want anything to do with her. Seeing her away from your ex and her mother will be an entirely different experience and you’ll get to spend quality time with her.

Going to court probably won’t be nice – it could turn into a nasty fight and undoubtedly they’ll make your depression and any violent episodes part of their argument, but don’t give up on it.

A word of warning for the future. Don’t use your child as a weapon to get back at your ex when you do have that time with her.

Even if you’re tempted, don’t bad-mouth her mother and grandmother because that will be confusing and upsetting for her.

I’m hoping your ex and her mum will have the sense to do the same.

* More of our agony aunt Coleen Nolan’s advice on your , family, and problems

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