Anonymous asks :

Hi Lucy,

My partner of 10 years completely abandoned me and our 8 year old daughter. He makes no contact with his child and pays no money. He is engaged to another girl and being a dad to her kids taking them to see Santa etc. and they are now expecting a baby too! This has all happened in the space of 8 months and it is having a huge impact on my daughter, she doesn't know how to deal with these emotions and is keeping it all inside. She won't tell me how she's feeling (probably not wanting to upset me) should I get her counselling? How can I help her open up and talk? I'm terrified this will have a negative impact on her later in life either with depression or trust issues. Please help.

Our Reply

Hi Anonymous,

If she is not expressing how she feels to you then yes I would suggest that you arrange some counselling for her. If you pay a visit to the doctor you can ask for a referral through them and some schools offer a service similar to this so perhaps talk to one of her teachers. She would usually get around 6 sessions with a professional and then you can apply for more if needed. You can attend with her however are usually not allowed to intervene in the session. If you feel that you need some support yourself, then it might be a good idea to look into applying for it too.

A father is a young girl’s first example of how a man acts and operates, so you are right; this could impact on her future romantic and even platonic relationships with men if she doesn’t talk about her emotions. Once she gets used to expressing how her father leaving has made her feel then she might find it easier to talk to you about it.

Perhaps try to make sure that she has a good support system around her with grandparents, friends of you and her own so she is surrounded by people to talk to once she feels ready to.

Lucy x 


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