Next step custody, I'm desperate

Here is a breakdown of a timeline

I filed 9/7 in mecklenberg for ex parte and custody of my daughter. It’s been a month at this point since I’ve really seen her.
I found out my ex filed the same day in Anson county.
I saw her served with the papers I filed.
My papers went to an address I don’t live at and I have not seen the papers myself.
My ex sent me a picture of the papers saying we have a mediation on 10/8 in Richmond county. I was never served those papers.
On 9/16 I went to mecklenberg court to see if there was an update. I was told that ex parte was denied a hearing had been set with a judge, and those papers had been sent out. They refused to give me the date of the hearing.
I also was able to find out she filed again in mecklenberg on 9/12 to my correct address.
I have still not been served those papers.
I went back to the courthouse on 9/22 for an update.
I was told the hearing had been on 9/19 and since neither of us showed it was dismissed without prejudice. I did not get those papers, I assume she did not either. We both would have been there.
I’m so frustrated at this point. I miss my daughter so much. I text her 3-4 times a week asking if I can have her for the day. My ex says no bc she thinks I’ll keep her. There is drug use in the house. She lives with another woman and between them there are 9 kids and multiple different fathers. There are random people coming through the house constantly. 2 DSS cases have been dismissed against her. Neither of which I called in. She has 2 other children from 2 different dads that I raised for the last 2 years. I’m not even asking to see them bc I don’t trust her to say I did something even though I miss and love them.
I was paying child support and making her sign every time I payed, I used an online calculator and did it for 3 children even though only 1 is mine. She’s changed her number, I can’t get a hold of her at times. She’s told me if I come over she’ll have me jumped but then tells me I can see my daughter only if I sit in her living room.
I’m so upset and frustrated about missing the court hearing. It was definitely not sent out for both of us not to get it.
Do I have to refile again?? I just want to have at least 50/50 custody of my daughter. I drop diapers, formula and wipes on the doorstep every week. I don’t trust to give her money since she snorts pills.
It’s so unfair that she is able to keep my child from me.
I work, have a stable place to stay, have a reliable vehicle. My ex has no job and lives off the state, no vehicle at all. I just don’t know what step to take next. I was lucky enough to know where she would be to be served the last time. She has said she will dodge the sheriff or take the baby out of state.

Since your ex parte case was dismissed without prejudice, you can file another action for a custody lawsuit against the mother. Since it appears that you are having such difficulties in seeing your daughter, involving the courts will likely be your only option.

Note that ex parte custody orders can only be granted with certain grounds, including to protect the child from abuse, neglect or physical harm and to prevent the child from being removed from the state of North Carolina.