Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strong? What a Joke.

"Dawn, you're so strong." You wanna know how strong I am? I broke down in front of my kids and cried the whole way home from my sister's house tonight. One hour of nonstop bawling in the car. You know why? Because I can't do anything right. I let people down every day. Every damn day! I drop the ball again and again and again. I disappoint people who count on me, trust me, love me. I feel like the world's biggest failure. And no matter how hard I try, I just can't get it right. Ha! Real strong, huh?

And you know what? I hate Joe. I hate him for making me feel fat and ugly and not worth the truth. And I hate myself even more for letting him make me feel worthless. No matter how strong I might seem on the outside; no matter how well I hold it together and go about my day with a smile on my face and a sense of humor intact, inside I'm very broken.

And I always will be.

166 comments:

Mayberry Mom said...

I am so sorry. Words fail me so I will just stick with that-I'm sorry.

Kristen said...

I want to preface this with the fact that I love this blog and I've been following your life for a long time. All I want to share is a thought. Feel free to ignore/delete if you disagree.

As a woman, a successful woman, I cannot believe how much this blog has changed from a job/great expression of you to a diary. I realize you're going through the worst time in your entire life. It's heartbreaking. I want you to be strong and hold everything together, but that's impossible. I appreciate that you feel you can share this with all of us and those you don't even know can help you.

However, I also know your kids read this. Word of advice - start another blog to vent to. If you hate your soon-to-be ex-husband, don't write it here. Take a break. Let yourself heal. Find another outlet to share this all in. Admitting you're broken and you think you always will be (you won't) isn't what they need to hear. We're here to help. Help your kids by not writing about what goes on inside the house that's so personal and making it public.

I hope this all gets easier. As a 23 year old female, I cannot imagine what you're going through, but I know that as a child of divorce, I wish my mom had shared her pain with me in a more constructive manner than yelling about how much she hated my father. I know your situation is your own, and who am I to give you too much advice, but I'm just commenting to help the kids, especially Savannah, to understand that all can be ok if you hold yourselves together as a family unit that works to improve their lives, not get revenge on someone who so clearly wants to be out.

Sending you all my love and support,

Kristen

Mum2Five said...

Hon, you are strong. For being able to admit that you're broken and hurting. Nobody is perfect, but I reckon you're a pretty good example of how awsome not perfect can be. Keep your chin up darl, you're kids will be fine, they'll probably think more of you for showing emotion anyway. You've just taught them the valuable lesson of not bottling things up. Take some time to yourself when their asleep. Do what ever you need to do. Buy yourself a punching bag if you have to =)

I have no doubt in my mind that you will come out of this an even stronger person than you were before.

GBH.... Mum2five

Janice said...

You know what, I hate Joe too. I hate Joe for all the men he represents. The men who won't stand up and be men. Men who sired children but won't support them. Men who are jerks. Who needs them anyways.

As to you, don't sweat the small stuff. Even if you had a husband who helped you'll always drop the ball at some point, you'll disappoint; and with kids that's probably every single minute of every single day. In the end, take it from me, kids don't remember. Children are resiliant, plus when they're 30 they'll remember all the bad stuff they did to you and be kicking themselves.

WebGal said...

I just wanted to say that I think your honesty is amazing (though my heart breaks for you). Strong or not strong...you have a large community who cares (albeit somewhat anonymously) on here. You are not alone.

Rachel E. said...

Dawn, I'm so sorry to hear you're having a hard time tonight. I won't waste your time with clichés like "this, too, will pass," but I want you to know I'm praying for you, that God will give you the strength and peace that only He can give.

I also think it's healthy for your kids to see that you are human and that the things that their dad is doing ARE hurtful and wrong and affect you, too. I'm not trying to bash him by saying that but am thinking of the fact that your kids will need to understand (whether now or someday in the future when they're older) that his actions were/are terribly hurtful and, to make their own decisions about how they live their lives in light of what they've seen him do.

We all have days/times/seasons of feeling terribly inadequate, myself certainly included, and I (and many of your other blog readers, too) draw strength from knowing that even the "celebrities" online who seem like they have it all together feel like they can't get it all right all the time. Ultimately, I am so thankful that, in Christ, we don't have to have it all together or be perfect all the time. Praying that that truth gives you strength right now during this time.

Anonymous said...

You will heal in time, its okay to have a "weak" moment. It's OKAY not to be perfect. ITS OKAY!
You are ONE person, You do SO much and sometimes you know what things get to be TO much and we forget. Remeber though that you have 6 beautiful, Smart children who are wonderful, and they are wonderful because you are THERE!
**hugs**

Geev said...

Aww sweetie! You're all that and a bag of chocolate chips and one day you'll realize it! I believe in you :)

Anonymous said...

I love and hate this post! I love it because I love the fact that you were brave enough to post it and I know that you are going to get a TON, A TON, of supportive comments because of it. Obviously you can really use it! I have been reading your blog for years and have never commented, but this one prompted me because I can see that you are feeling so broken and I just want to reassure you that it's OK! All of it! It's ok to break down in front of your kids once in a while! It shows them that you are human and you have emotions and that it's ok to express the emotions you have. (Also, if you are lucky, it makes them behave and treat you really well, for at least an hour! ;-)
But then I hate this post because it is WRONG. You are not a failure! You are an amazing woman, holding together 6 kids by your self (I can barely handle my 3 and I have lots of help from my husband... but still they drive me to the breaking point just about every day! And you know what? They are pretty good kids! It's not even like they are monsters! But it's just so hard to be Mom 24/7/365. You are ALWAYS on call, ALWAYS needed... that's why sometimes we drop the ball. No one can be perfect every second of every day!
Go ahead and hate Joe - and then be proud of yourself for picking yourself up and finally getting rid of him. Be proud of yourself for not putting up with it for one more day!
I think tomorrow, you should just go have a nice day with your kids. Chuck all the rules, eat junk, play and just have a nice day.
And save all the wonderful comments you are sure to get tonight... and read and reread them as often as you need to!

Anonymous said...

I've never commented before, on ANY blog.

I just had to point out, that you were crying WHILE getting all the kids home. Sweetheart, that is the definition of strength in adversity.

Hang in there. The broken parts may heal crookedly, but they will heal.

Beth L. said...

Dawn you don't know me from Adam but just remember that there are hundreds of people out here in the world who love you and who want to give you virtual hugs and tell you that it's ok to cry and that it's ok to grieve and it's ok to hate. Just keep remembering that you are human and nobody is perfect.

Look what you ahve done with just one little post about some Pokemon cards. I know it might seem that life sucks right now but it will get better eventually.

Love you!

misssrobin said...

Me, too.

Donna said...

bless your heart, honey..........

Kim said...

I wish I could just hug you right now! {{{{Dawn}}}}

Does it help to know that I feel that way too sometimes?...and I imagine most women do too.

Bonnie said...

Good for you Dawn! You don't always have to hold it in. I'm pretty sure that the majority of your readers can handle it. I only wish I could be with you and give you a big hug! Always remember though to give it all to the Lord, he can definitely handle it! It isn't cool to blame him for things but it is ok to get angry and just let it all out with Him. Break down, give it all to Him and you will feel the comfort of His arms surrounding you.

Anonymous said...

((((((((((Cheesy internet hugs from a random stranger))))))))))). After you've had some time to cry, reread the last few months' blog posts as though it were someone else. Would you judge that person harshly or cut her a little slack b/c she's a single mom with 6 kids trying to forge a new life for herself? You're doing the best you can under some pretty crappy circumstances (if you don't mind my saying so). Most of us wouldn't do nearly as well. I wouldn't even come close.

Jill from Indiana

Dawn said...

Dawn, I was beginning to worry about you. But your post tells me that you are normal.

Yes, you aren't as strong as the world thinks. Yet, you are also stronger than you think.
You will feel overwhelmed and inadequate sometimes. You will feel like nothing will ever be ok again, that the kids will be warped, and no one can ever understand how you feel. You WILL make mistakes, be less patient at times, scream when you don't want to and feel bad afterwards. You are normal!

After my ex left, my sister kept telling me I was strong. It sure didn't feel like it. I was suddenly a single parent of a 1, 4 and 6 year old. How was I going to do this thing?! And yes, the kids experienced my crying jags also.

But then, you'll have days, maybe just moments when all seems right in the world, the kids are well adjusted, and you feel on top of the world.

It's a process, Dawn. You've suffered a death. Of your marriage, of the dreams and hopes that you had cultivated early on. Let yourself grieve, don't rush it. But understand, you WILL get through it. One day, you'll wake up and realize you feel lighter. freer. And you'll know you will survive. and the kids will be ok because YOU will love them and they will know that.
And remember, with God all things are possible. Only He got me through it. When I was so distraught I didn't even have the words to tell him, he understood my groanings. He'll be there for you also. Lean on Him!

Dawn in MI

Anonymous said...

We tell our kids all the time..."brave" is being scared and doing it anyway. I think that's what "strong" is, too. Knowing you can't do it perfectly or all and doing it anyway. Have you ever checked out FlyLady.net? She's a little sappy for me, but what she says is true...anything you do for your family, your kids, your house--even if it's done imperfectly-- BLESSES them. Are you afraid someone will figure out you're not perfect? Too late, hon--it's part of the title of your first book! :) And that's why we love you. And that's why your kids will love you more and more as they grow up to appreciate how well you did with what you were dealt. Hang in there.

Jeanette said...

No you won't always be, but I know it feels like that now. Time will help you heal, and one day you'll wake up and realize that you aren't worthless, or a failure. Your children love you very much. Where is the failure in that?

Jessica said...

*hugs*

You ARE strong... The fact that you posted this proves it!

Carol said...

I am so sorry you feel that way. You are so talented and valuable, and I am praying for you.

Pam from alertandorientedx4 said...

Dawn--I've been loosely following what you're going through. Hold fast to God's promises for you and don't listen to the devil when he tells you lies like this...especially when he uses people who you love to do it! Remember that YOU are a daughter of the KING and that you are a wonderous, glorious creation...
We all feel discouraged and useless sometimes and when we are at our most vulnerable, that's when the devil strikes out and hits us in our soft underbelly--usually attacking where we're the weakest. Don't give in...don't let him win! Find a friend who can give you a soft shoulder and let her carry you for a time...I know that you can get through this...but you are not strong enough under your own power. Rely on God to ease your burden. And give yourself a break. Praying for you!

iffer@AOL.com said...

Dawn, you are much better than you give yourself credit for. I may not know you, but from what I've seen on your blog, you're a great Mom. ou handle 6 kids with humor and grace and faith. Down the road, when they're all grown up, they're not going to remember the times you were late dropping them off at sports or when they didn't get to attend a birthday party because 2 of their siblings had obligations and you coulnd't be in 3 places at once. They are going to remember how you held your family together when their father decided to cut himself out of the family, and they're going to remember how no matter what, you made sure they knew how much you loved them. Hang in there. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

Hey, tomorrow is another day and you will start over. Your kids need to know you are human and being a great mom alone is hard but rewarding work. Sleep well.
PS I hate Joe too for what he's done to you and your kids.

Becky said...

Don't do this to yourself. By whose standard are you blowing it or dropping the ball?

Families were not designed to have one adult in charge, taking care of another immature adult and however many kids.

You're only coming up short on your responsibilities because you're carrying his as well.

These disappointed people need to show some grace and compassion or help out and not expect so much from you right now. Obviously your bills, employers, other responsibilities are not going to give you much leeway, but people who love and trust you ought to..

and remember, God has designed us such that we will never be happy without him. I have been married to a wonderful man for almost ten years, but he cannot make me happy, as much as I may want him to or he way try. I have two beautiful sweet kids, but they don't make me happy. The only way I am happy is when I am close to and focusing on pleasing my Savior. That's why I was made.

Chin up, girl. You have so many of us rooting for you!!

Lorna said...

*Hugs and Hockey pucks from your friend in the great wet north*

nellbe said...

Oh Dawn, don't be afraid to cry in front of your kids, I do it too. It is part of being a mother.

Lots of hugs to you xx

Anonymous said...

Praying for you and your family, Dawn.
Peace,
Lisa

joanne lendaro said...

Awh, come on kiddo! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again. I know it's easy for me to say, difficult for you to do, but life just sucks somedays. Joe is the biggest looser in this game. You may think he's ahead, but you will win in the end. Those little kiddo's of yours will remember this day and every other that you have been there for them. And when they are all grown up, they will understand the minor shortcomings of this time and wonder how you did it all. They will figure it out.

Gosh darn it, get a glass of wine and know that you are the best! I respect all that you are doing at this point in your life, and you ARE allowed to have crappy days and this is one of 'em. Tomorrow will be better and you will go on. Kiss those little faces extra tonight and know that they are what you live for. Not Joe, not someother man, no one other than your children. And you are doing a wonderful job.

hugs!!

Stephanie said...

Hi Dawn,
I have read your blog for years now. But I am not a commenter. 2 years ago my 14 month old little girl (the youngest of my four girls) drowned in a tragic accident. That day I broke. My heart broke. My everything broke.

I soon met another Mom whose son died in another accident that same week. She wrote to me and told me about a talk she heard at church by a man name Jeffrey Holland (he is one of the 12 apostles in our church.)

She sent me her notes on his talk and I found them inspired and hopeful through my pain. I thought of them again reading this post of yours. Because they had to do with feeling broken. Here is what he said according to her notes:

"When we feel broken, which we all have....

"When these times come for you or others remember God loves broken things. It takes broken clouds to nourish earth, broken earth to grow grain, broken grain to make bread. God can fix all things that are broken, they are understood by Him and incorporated into His plan for us. The think the thing that He loves most is a broken heart and contrite spirit - symbols of the Atonement which replaced the firstling of the flock after the Atonement was wrought.

"Broken heart and contrite spirit is a more personal sacrifice that a burnt offering. Please don't resist if God helps to break your heart, He doesn't do it maliciously. He will handle it with care while it's broken and we will get it back whole. It will be restored whole just as our bodies will be restored whole through the Atonement. If we'll be faithful and true and not cut and run we'll get it all back. Don't panic if something breaks even if it's our heart of a child, spouse, or family member. The 'Night' will pass..."

I hope and pray that you will feel (as I have begun to) the mending and healing effects of the Atonement of the Savior in the coming months, and years of your life.

Much love to you --
Stephanie Waite
www.adailyscoop.blogspot.com

Tamara said...

Everyone had bad days, weeks and months (even years) I don't know you personally, but I feel on some level as though I do through your blog. I think you are beautiful, funny and smart. It is unfortunate that you are facing some difficult times right now, but I hope you know there are thousands of people thinking of you and hoping you and your kids come through this okay.

The Mahnke Family said...

Dawn~
I know you're going to get a ton of comments reassuring you that you are not a failure, not worthless, and not letting people down....and all those people would be right.

However, I think what you really need to hear is not a reassurance from someone who doesn't really know you (a blog reader like me only really knows a very small part of you--what you choose to write about). I think you need to hear from the One who does truly know you and loves you and wants to heal your brokenness--we are ALL so broken, but it is not the desire of God that we stay that way.

Here is something He wants you to know today:(Excerpt from His Princess Bride by Sheri Rose Shepherd)
"I will always come when you call for Me, My love. Call out to Me as many times as you need Me, and I will come comfort you. I never tire of hearing your sweet voice address My Name. When your heart is broken, I want to put all the pieces back in place for you. When you feel empty, I will fill you up again and again. When your spirit has been crushed, My love, I am here to revive your soul. Be assured, My Princess, I am always available to you anytime you need Me. Call to me and I will answer.
Love, Your Prince who is only a prayer away."

I seriously am not trying to minimize your pain AT ALL! I just so LONG for women to learn how to be set free from the things that bind them from truly experiencing the abundant life in Christ. I would be honored to pray for you and for the healing of your broken heart. God has amazing plans for you! I just know it! Keep close to Him and keep sharing with the blog world. You are so honest and transparent (and so funny!!), but I am sure there is much pain too. I hope that you feel encouraged and lifted just a bit. Praying for you tonight,
Holly

Amanda said...

(You) can do all things through Christ who STRENGTHENS (you). Remember that.

Valorie said...

You're human. And you're going through some serious garbage. You can't put on the brave face all the time and no one should expect you to. You're going to get through it though. Because you are strong, and you're an inspiration and if anyone's disappointed in you -especially now- they deserve a swift kick in the ass.

Heather's Haven said...

Dawn. I'm sorry. Life is so unfair but God is so good. Keep leaning on Him. Praying for you to feel some peace tonight. Praying for your kiddos to feel it too. Hang in there.

~Alison~ said...

I'm new to your blog and not really caught up on "your story" but wanted to let you know that we all have those moments. It's good that you are able to put up the strong front even though you may not feel very strong. Me, I can't do that. If I'm having a bad day...everyone KNOWS IT! :)

Hang in there.

bcmom2 said...

Dawn, it breaks my heart to hear you say that. You are strong simply by being there for your kids every day and making sure life goes on for them even if Joe doesn't want to be a part of it. It's ok to let your kids see you cry-it's not a sign of weakness! They need to know that you're human and you have emotions and feelings-good and bad. You're a beautiful, courageous, hard working mom! I hope you'll continue to trust that God loves you and He has a plan for you!

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I feel for you, I really do. I'm also in a divorce, though with half the amount of kids you have. Don't beat yourself up so bad, we all drop the ball, we all let others down, it's part of being a parent, it's part of life. God is always faithful to somehow give us the strength to carry on.
Your writings, your honesty in how you deal with situations, and the way you remind us that raising kids (especially on your own) is full of mishaps and excitement, but you still make us laugh about it is a gift you have. I can't count the times I was ready to throw in the towel and give up on myself, and then one of your posts lifted my spirits and gave me that feeling that I'm not alone.
I will be praying for you.
Gaby

Mary said...

Oh my dear. I have never commented before, but I have been reading you for a long time, and I just have to tell you. You are incredible. Don't let any man tell you otherwise. Even if he were a smart, good person, men just don't get it. They don't see what has to be done every stinking day.

I am a little bit older than you, so I have been through the stage of marriages breaking up. And I can promise you that it will get better. Not this year, and probably not next, but it will get so much better, and you will be so much happier.

You hang in there, and keep taking good care of those kids, and know that there are so many of us out here who admire you so much. Even when we never say anything. Spending time with your adult child, and thinking that there's really no one else you'd rather be with because they are so much fun, is the best feeling in the world. And you've got that nailed.

Hugs to you. Hang in there.

Cheri-Beri said...

God bless you, Dawn. Many prayers coming at you right now from Washington state.

Sandy in Illinois said...

Love you! And like Coleman Larson would say; "Never Div Up!"

SubWife said...

Aww Dawn! I feel for you :( But being strong doesn't mean never falling down. It means having the courage to pick yourself up after falling and go on, no matter how hard it is. You are strong and don't let anyone make you feel otherwise. We are rooting for you!

Cristen said...

You will NOT always be... GOD will heal you if you ask and obey... his answer you are his CHILD. Think of how much you love your children... And you are one of GODS children... TIME will heal if GOD is your refuge.

Lynn said...

Oh Dawn,
Wish I could be there to give you a hug! There's nothing wrong with your kids seeing you cry. You're NOT a failure! You're a woman who's had her feet knocked out from under her! YOU'RE the one who's there for your kids every single day. YOU'RE the one who has to deal with EVERYTHING! Joe's taken the coward's way out and he just doesn't have a clue what he's done to you and his children.
yes, there are going to be times when you let people down because you're one person and you're being overwhelmed with so much.
Praying so very, very hard for you!!!!!!!!!!!

Isaiah 26:3-4 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:

Chick Hatchers said...

Dawn, We all let people down. Our families, our children, our friends. It happens. We are not perfect. But you ARE doing a good job as a mother and trying so very hard to hold things together. There are times I get so down or frustrated that I cry in front of my kids - sometimes for no apparent reason - and I'm not going through what you are.

You provide a glimpse of your life through your blog, but it is just a peephole. You are human just like the rest of us and none of us are perfect. You said it well the other day when you emphasized that God is with you through this and you were right. God is with you. He knows every tear that leaks from your eyes - pouring out or sneaking out.

You are NOT a failure! I am praying for you tonight and for God to show you abundant grace. I also pray that He brings you to a place of forgiving Joe because that will release you from so much. You are a beautiful person (from what you show on the blog - in pictures and personality), and you are so loved (by many of us readers and, more importantly, by our God!)

Do not be discouraged, for God is with you. I am praying that He ease this burden and be generous with His grace and mercy on you!

Kymberlie
mychildsview.blogspot.com

Diana said...

I feel for you Dawn. Please try to remember tho that you are there right now, keeping your family going, keeping up with life and trying your best.
YOU ARE STRONG!

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so down today. In the words of Hannah Montana, "Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody has those days." (Did that cheer you up? Sorry, I'm in the process of watching "every Hannah ever made" with my daughter on Disney channel.)

Jennifer in Wi said...

Your strong for wanting to make a change in a life that was filled with misery. To charge forward and to be an example to your kids that life has set backs but you just "Keep moving forward".

April M said...

Dawn, you're not broken, you are human. A God designed, loved and blessed human.

Strength is not defined by how well you can hold it together but rather by your ability to continue to be the woman God created you to be; a mother to 6 wonderful children, a support system for thousands of women all over the world, a daughter, a sister... in the face of difficult times.

When you have God, you never lack strength. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31

belindasbaubles said...

*hugs*
You're human.
You don't wear your underware on the outside and run around in a cape. (well maybe you do)
You're not made of stone, but made of stronger things than Joe will ever know.
Women are like Tea Bags. You will never know how strong she is until you stick her in hot water.
Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.
Smile. It's the best revenge you can ever inflict.
*Hugs*
Belinda in Brisbane Australia

Kelly Stoeber said...

Dawn, I think more important than being strong, is being human. And by you showing your emotions - especially in front of your kids, that just affirms it. I don't know your entire story, but what I do know is that NOBODY can go through what you have and realistically be able to wear that smile 24/7. You may think you've let people down time and time again, but just think of each time you have gotten your children to school, a playdate, practice, a doctor's appt., food on the table, tucked into bed, given them a hug or kiss - those are times you haven't failed to the people you matter most to.

DarcsFalcon said...

Shh, shh, *hugs* Hush now. It'll be okay, I promise. You go ahead and cry now, I have shoulders.

It seems dark right now, I know. But see that little twinkle down there? That's the light at the end of the tunnel, and you'll get there, I promise. Not sure you can see it? Just look in any of your babies eyes.

In the meantime, if you stumble, that's just fine - that's why we're here, to help pick you up, make sure you don't have any dirt smudges left on your butt, that your mascara isn't running.

We're all broken hon. Every single one of us, and you're not any more broken than anyone else. So we'll all walk through the tunnel together, all our broken selves, watching each other's backs, and when we get to the end and see that light, we'll pull our sunglasses out and sing to high heaven that we made it through.

And don't you dare go believing whatever crap some guy said who wasn't smart enough to hang on to you! You couldn't have gotten this far if any of that crap was true. You ARE strong and you ARE beautiful. Just because you may not feel that right now doesn't make it any less true.

*hugs*

Scottish Mummy said...

Well said Dawn. It is an exhausting rollercoaster putting on a brave face every day. Children don't have the maturity to help, friends are secretly glad it isn't them it's happening to and partners/husbands walk away with an emotional ease I find unbearable. It's going to be hard. Harder than anything. But if you have good friends/family and a character that says "I'm going to do the right thing" even on your blackest days, you'll do great. More importantly your children will be ok too. I promise.

Anonymous said...

I have never posted a comment before, but I'm up at 3 a.m. reading your post. Think about these words from a David Crowder song: "YOU make EVERYTHING glorious! What does that make me?" He are wonderfully made in HIS image. Don't let words from others get you down. You are a child of the King and are doing a wonderful job raising your six children. Lean on HIM!

Dawn B., A.H., IL

Tam said...

Dawn,
I read your blog every time you update, I rarely comment.

But I want to tell you, You are not broken. You may feel that way, and with what you feel, what you find yourself facing and the appalling way you have been treated, not a single person in this world could possibly blame you for a single emotion you have. But, You are not broken.

Adversity doesn't build character, It reveals it. The strength people talk of is in you, even if it is buried deep behind the pain, the hurt and the wanting. It's in the way you get out of bed, every single day for your kids, if not for yourself. It's in the way you drive your kids where they need to be. It's in the way you cook them meals, It's in the way you smile at them, even when your heart is breaking.

You are not broken. A new normal will take time, it will not be easy but it will be worth it.

You are not broken. You are Dawn.

mandyb said...

holding a grudge is letting someone live rent free in your house!!!!

works for me.....

dont let them win!!!!
you are better then that

KIA KAHA
(in my country we speak maori and this above means STAY STRONG!!!!!!!)

Janie said...

Dawn,
Breaking down doesn't mean you aren't strong. It means you're human. I'm sorry for what Joe's putting you through. I'm sorry it seems so awful at the moment. It'll change.

You're beautiful, worth the best (and the truth), and you're making things work (even if you can't see it sometimes). Give yourself more credit. You deserve it.

We all love you, we're all rooting for you.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I know sometimes life can be hard but I have a saying that I always live by...

"I look to the future because that's where I'm going to spend the rest of my life" George Burns.

Tomorrow is another day, start fresh and remember that you are an amazing mother and you have six children that will always love you no matter what.

Heather said...

You have a lot on your plate, Dawn. No wonder you're brought to tears now and then. In my thoughrts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

You are a loving mother of six. You provide food, shelter and a good home for your kids. You got rid of someone who isn't healthy for you. All that takes A LOT of strength. Crying doesn't make you weak, it just makes you human.

Deborah said...

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Dawn}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Honey, brokenness is part of being human. I don't think anyone--except maybe Brooklyn & Clay--think for one minute that you REALLY have it all together as well as you put out there. So often, humor is given birth by pain. Many people truly love YOU just for who you are, and God loves you the most! As a wonderful book, "The Shack" puts it, "Papa is especially fond of you." And as a long-time reader, so am I. Healing happens, and it WILL happen for you.

I think that you're doing just great! Thank you for your honesty.

Theresa G said...

I can't say I've "been there" with regards to divorce and 6 kids- but I do know the feeling of being broken, and thinking I'll always be broken.

You're doing so awesome - esp given the circumstances. Celebrate your victories and teat yourself to your favorite reward (mine is Chai Latte).

{{{{hugs}}}}

MHW said...

Well I think you're absolutely fantastic. So there! Lots of love from a complete stranger. x

Holly C. said...

Hang in there, Dawn! Better days are ahead.

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

I am so sorry you feel this way. I wish there was something I could do to help you. This is horrible what you are going through. I will pray for you and your kids.{{hugs}}

Katrina said...

It's horrid when they can make us feel that way - it's horrid when it all catches up with us - I hate it that someone can do that to us and make us feel so worthless. Some days we do have to acknowledge to ourselves how bad people can make us feel rather than bottling it up and self destructing - I hope tomorrow brings a better day for you and you find your inner strength and peace with yourself

Anonymous said...

Oh Dawn. My heart goes out to you. You don't have to be perfect for everyone all the time, in fact you never have to be perfect. You just do the best you can at the time. Strong doesn't mean you get everything right, strong means you keep on trying. It doesn't mean you never drop the ball, it means that when you do you pick it up again. It also means having the strength to let yourself have a great big bawl and not to always put on the "public" Dawn. Please give yourself a break, you need to have time and space (wherever you can find it) to grieve for an altered future, even as you embrace it. I hope that makes some sort of sense.
hugs and prayers
Kathryn

Anonymous said...

Dawn, you are beautiful. Your ex realized he wasn't worthy....THAT'S what happened!

And you can't do everything. Believe me, I understand the guilt of being a Mom and woman. I think it is pre-programmed into our genes. There are not enough hours in the day to do what we need (or feel we need!) to do....something has to be left behind. Please don't punish yourself for what is out of your control.

Each day will get easier. The opposite of love isn't hate...it is indifference. And when you start to feel that, you will know you have made it.

{HUGS}

Anonymous said...

Even if you were fat and ugly (which you are most definitely not) a man who turns his back on his children isn't much of a man. I don't care what his excuse is, he will have to deal with God one day regarding his treatment of his wife and kids. Perhaps imagining that scene will give you a few seconds of relief. :-)

Christy said...

Coming out of lurkdom here. Do you feel better? A good cry and a cathartic post........did it help a bit? My heart breaks for you Dawn. Maybe it's time to re-evaluate and take some stuff off your plate. When is the last time you did something purely for yourself? Ask one of those admiring souls to hold down your fort and get moving. My guest room is clean. Want to come South? Hang in there. You are entitled to feeling like you do, own the feelings and then move forward. There will come a time when you will realize that there is nothing you CAN'T do.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, I'm so sorry you're going through this. But having known several others who have gone through this, you WILL come out of it stronger. God will never give you more than you can handle, and if you break down once in awhile, that's normal and human. Will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Cindy said...

Dear Dawn,

You must be one of the strongest women on this planet to admit you're just human, like the rest of us!
The fact that you make it through every day, taking care of your children, is amazing to me. I know you don't have much choice, but still you do it, every day again.
The things you DO pull through, feel like 'normal' and your focus is on the things that you don't. But embrace yourself for all the 'normal' things you do. All your kids are still alive, isn't that amazing?! ;)

Try to read some good books that will make you feel better about yourself, and will make you think straight about yourself (I know you're to busy to read, but even one page a day can make a difference in your head!) like one of Dr. Phil's books. It has helped me a lot, maybe it can give you some support to.

Don't forget what your blog is doing for so many women in the whole world. You're amazing, Dawn, just for being you (not for being some superwoman). Please, please don't forget! There are so many people who love you, you really should be one of them...

Kisses from Holland,
Cindy

The Mommy said...

You aren't broken. God and time will heal. There are a million cliches that I could throw at you but the fact is, you're not broken. You're human. And I appreciate that you share your "human"ness with the rest of us.

I'll just give you an Eleanor Roosevelt quote (one of my favorites) - "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission". Don't let him do it. Just writing this down took strength. God bless.

cindy said...

Dear Dawn -
You don't know me, we've never met, and probably never will. But I can't start my day without a dose of your candor and humor, and a check on how your six pack is doing. You have so many people out there that love you for who you are - more people than you can even imagine that care about you and your fantastic kids and your situation. You don't know us - but we know you, and we love you, and we'll do anything you need to help get you through this intact.

(and my apologies if that sounds kind of stalker-ish!)

Diana said...

Oh Dawn,
You are breaking my heart girl! You are not a failure. You are a woman going through a lot of stress and no one for support. You are a single mom of 6 kids. Do you KNOW how awesome that is? You aren't wonder woman. It won't kill your kids to see you cry, if anything it will make them realize "mom has feelings too" "mom needs help sometimes too". Go easy on yourself girl. I wish I could help you out. Hang in there and try to get some help. Breathe....and remember you are an awesome woman and pretty darn gorgeous to boot. Seriously, I don't know where the fat and ugly feelings come from and Please don't give Joe the power to make you feel that way. He doesn't count anymore.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to the people who say you are so strong, but at the end of the day, you are only as strong as you are feeling on the day. Day at a time... moment at a time. God is strong enough to take over for you when you need it Dawn... but you already know that.

Sandi said...

aww, Dawn.... big hugs from Florida. you have been through a lot, and nobody expects you to be perfect. only we as Moms put that pressure on ourselves. it's OK to have a good cry. damn, you deserve it after the year you've had! I hope today is a better day for you. take care of yourself!

Anonymous said...

You need to allow yourself some time to grieve the loss of your marriage, it's a dramatic loss. Even tho you and Joe aren't together, he brought six wonderful blessings into your life. You are a busy woman, things will fall through the cracks. Don't be so hard on yourself, trust me, in a few days, weeks, months, or years it won't matter...in other words, have yourself a good damn cry and move on. Your best trait is your humor. You can't let the other stuff get you down. You're better than that!...Sharon

Kim said...

Dawn, only a truly strong person can share what you just shared.

I've been "lurking" since the eBay days and wanted to reach out and let you know it will get better and some day you WILL feel whole on the inside again. I'm glad you are expressing anger toward your ex too, it's part of the healing process. He's being/been a real d-bag and you & the kids don't deserve any of it. There - I said it.

I've been through it too and my kids survived and have mostly funny & fond memories of being young. It all turns out fine in the end. Take care of yourself!

joanne lendaro said...

Hope you feel better this morning...sounds like you had a rough night. Keep your chin up, those wonderful little people in your life are counting on you.

Carol said...

Just to say I feel your pain and frustration.I have been in limbo for 2 years and my non-husband doesn't understand that you can't have a "friend" and a marriage. He "chose" the "friend" by refusing to come clean, hasn't seen the two stepsons he helped raise for over 10 years and sees his daughter just long enough to frustrate her. I have a mother who thinks that I should take him back because economically it would be easier. Friends? Hah! They don't want to hear about it. Family? The ranks are closed. Strength? I put on a game face and just hang on. Humor? Helps in the biggest way. Things will get better. We are what we are and we have to be true to ourselves. It's the only thing we really have. Your kids will be fine, they know you are trying. Take a deep breath, sing a good song, put one foot in front of the other, and you will be fine.

Veggiemomof2 said...

((((HUGS))) Just hang in there & keep depending on God! The kids are turning out to be wonderful human beings & as they are older, they will know the sacrifices you've made for them & forgive any mistakes you've made along the way. (Now I need to go tell my mom thanks again.)

Ellie said...

I feel this way a lot of the time too. Like I can't get anything right, no matter how hard I try.

T.M. said...

I think we ALL put on the strong face! So many of us feel like failures inside, but on the outside, we look like nothing could break us. And I think we women are our own enemies...because we put on that "strong front" we look around at all the other women who are putting on that same "strong front". We think that EVERYONE ELSE must really, truly have it all together. We think that because we feel like we don't have it all together and everyone else appears to be much more "together" that something must be wrong with us or wrong with the way we're doing things. But, I will take bets that most, if not all, women who appear to have it all together are really feeling broken inside as well.

We ALL disappoint people. We ALL have days (or weeks or months or years) where it seems we can't do ANYTHING right. We can't please everyone, so SOMEONE is going to feel let down by something we've done (or haven't been able to do).

In the end, though, you are raising some pretty fantastic kids. In spite of crying in front of them, you are teaching them that it's ok to cry. It's ok to feel overwhelmed sometimes. That you are human and have feelings. And perhaps, you're teaching your children never to treat a spouse the way you've been treated. Think of all the WONDERFUL things you've done. You might feel like a failure at times, but you're also successful as well! Your kids will look at their mother and remember that you stuck with them and have done all that you can for them. It might not be perfect, but you've loved them, and really, that's what matters in the end.

We are all human. We are all broken. But, I know you are Christian, so I can say that God KNOWS you are human and loves you anyway. God sent a message - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). These are the times to give it all over to God. Lots of hugs to you!

Denise said...

Oh Dawn I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you that no matter how bad things look now, it DOES get better, it really does.

You were Me 16 years ago, when my husband left me with two young kids, no answers or reasons, but a lot of questions I still don't know the answer to.

I used to cry in the toilet because it was the only place I could be sure I'd be alone, I didn't want to let my kids see how hurt or broken I was, or how worthless I felt.

Day to day just wore me down and I hated myself, I WAS useless and fat and ugly and old and no one else would ever want me.

He was wrong, and so is Joe, so very very wrong, and so are you, you are worth so much more, and you are brave and you are strong and soon it will start to get easier, each day will be a little better.

You have your faith in God, you have your friends, you have your wonderful children, and even though you can't see us, you have US as well, we're all barracking for you, sending you strong healing thoughts and in whatever way we can, we will also be here for you.

So hang in there Dawn, and look after yourself.

@funnelwebkitten on twitter.

ruru's mom said...

We all let people down a little bit everyday. Don't feel like a failure...you're better than that! Don't let your idiot of a soon-to-be ex-husband dictate how you feel about yourself. There are MANY who believe that you are beautiful AND worth the truth. Don't blame yourself for getting suckered in by him and trying to live up to the vows you made to one another (even though he wasn't holding up to his end of those vows).

You've done what you can to move on from this poor excuse of a man. Getting divorced and supporting a family of 7 is a MAJOR undertaking, even with regular child support. Without it, it's even more of a struggle. You are not only STRONG, but BRAVE. You're a great example for your kids, for the girls, you're showing them that they don't have to put up with the stuff their dad's done, for the boys, you're showing them how NOT to act as a husband.

Keep your chin up...one day at a time (and sometimes one minute, or one hour at a time). I'm not the praying type of person, but you and your kids will be in my thoughts.

Bob and Snookie said...

You had to get that out and its ok. Now pull up your big girl panties and get on with it.

You are NOT worthless! You brought six beautiful human beings into the world. You love, nurture and take care of them. You entertain thousands with your wit.

If I EVER hear you say you are worthless again I will kick your butt from here to wherever and back!

Snookie

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you already know this and have been told many times, but divorce is hard. No matter how terrible your marriage is or not. You will get through it, with the love of your kids. You are a beautiful woman - and after 6 kids, how else would you look?? I dont think you're fat at all... I've had twins and look way worse!! I know - how does that make you feel better??!?!?! You are obviously an amazing mom - you can make it work.

Emily said...

Dawn,
I love you. I think you are amazing! You are a great mother and you are super funny. I love reading your blog! I think you are beautiful and I love the hair! keep writing!

The Only Girl said...

I'm sending you a big hug and an "it WILL get better". Please believe that it will.

Julia in Sweden said...

Dawn, sweetheart, there is probably no way I can ease your pain. But I just wanted to say that you are a fantastic woman, an inspiration to us all, and even though you feel like crap right now, it will change.
The obstacles you are facing are enormous, but it's important that you don't give up. And even though I don't know you, other than what you write on this blog, you are not the type who gives up. And you are not failing those around you, you are doing your best with what you are given. Joe is the one who is failing. Big time.
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
Hang in there.

strawberrymama said...

Whether or not you feel strong or amazing or wonderful...you are an amazing woman. You have a tremendous amount on your plate and you have risen to the occasion. You are making things work. It's not about being perfect at every moment. You are human, after all. I'm willing to bet that despite your imperfections, at the end of the day--you are a hero to six great kids :). Love and prayers for you, Dawn.

Anonymous said...

Dawn you will get through this.I think it is ok to cry in front of your children. You just had to release what you have been holding inside. If you cried all the time every day in front of your children that would not be ok. But you needed to get release. Your children need you to be there for them. We all let people down all of the time. This has to be really hard for you to try and keep up beat all of the time. You are a beautiful person and we all love you. Hope things get easier for you soon.

Sandy K

Anonymous said...

oh Dawn, I'm so sorry he makes you feel like that. My ex was a bit like that as well, exploring people's insecurities and put other people down just so they could feel better about themselves. You are gorgeous and doesn't deserve comments like that!

I hope you're doing OK Dawn.... you know you are great and you know you can get through all these crap!

Lisa said...

Guess what? You're human!! Stop beating yourself up for giving a crap - you aren't going to change THAT about yourself (and you shouldn't).

Anonymous said...

I think you were very strong for showing your children that you have emotions and that it is ok to not be Superwoman every day and tears do not mean defeat they mean a release and admission that even moms have bad days and we are people, real human beings who have feelings. Joe has his own issues that he is unable to face and most likely absence is shame. he does not have to answers questions or be accountable if he is invisable.
I think you are doing a tremendous job and I commend you
Never let anyone let you feel worthless.You are a child of the universe.
As Jimmy Buffett would say
"Breathe in Breathe ,out move on"

vickie2005 said...

The strongest machines need to vent to keep working well. You are more than a machine.

And you are indeed broken. We all are. But you are blessed to recognize this and lean on others and God and acknowledge that you can't do everything yourself. You will have good days and bad days. All you can do is pick yourself up and try to have another good day.

Thinking of you, wishing you self-love and love from your kids.

Sarah said...

Dawn, your heavenly Father loves you with an everlasting love. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. We all make mistakes and mess up again and again; that is part of being human. Don't let a person make you feel that way. You are strong in Christ and He is with you every step of the way. You are a wonderful mother and you will work through all the emotions and come out on top. Sometimes our worst enemy is ourself. You will heal. You are strong and a wonderful example to your children. They need to see you struggle sometimes and work through it; it will encourage them in the future in their own struggles. Don't be too hard on yourself. God Blessings to you and your children.

kirine said...

Okay. You need to realize that you are strong. However, you are going to have moments of weakness. After all, you are going through a divorce, and pulling the weight of two people. You are only human after all.

In all honesty, it is probably a good thing you broke down in front of the kids. They need to see that you are hurting too.

You won't always be broken. First hand experience speaking. However, what you can do is take this time to figure out who you are (without Joe) and who you want to be and start moving towards that. Do things that make you feel good about you. Have a spa day at home since money is tight. Bubble baths are great and a good place to just lose it.

Ellen said...

Hi, Dawn. Just found your blog, I gave props to single parents on mine today and someone suggested I visit.

OK, not knowing much about you at all, let me just say this: You are not perfect. Right? NONE of us are. We all drop the ball every single damn day. We let people down every single damn day.

The mere fact that you are raising SIX kids on your own, and that you are able to keep soldiering on despite what you have been through, puts you in a whole other stratosphere of parent. Seriously. You should be giving yourself props today for what you ARE doing. I stand in awe of you.

Que said...

I know this comment will get lost in the sea of comments but I promise you this... The strongest person I know I have seen cry several times in life. I have seen them break down on more than one occasion. I really don't think strength comes from not getting knocked down. It comes from getting back up when you do get knocked down. Because no matter what, we ALL get knocked down. I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that and I won't be the last. But, you don't gather a group of admirers by being weak. It just doesn't happen. Another sign of being strong is that others are stronger because of you. I'm sure there are at least 6 people than feel stronger because you are in their lives. And I would beg to say there are at least a few hundred more.

Wendy said...

You are in my thoughts and prayers, Wendy in Idaho

Nina said...

but isn't that the epitome of strong? we all break down, we all cry and we all lament how weak we are and yet, when we keep going, that is strong.

Cindy said...

I feel you 100%!! I have so many days like this! I am a single mom and I was never married but have those same feelings you do. I used to be out on my own and had everything fall out from under me. It is good to get it out sometimes. Just know you are not the only one. Hugs to you.

Amy said...

Sorry you had a bad night Dawn. Sometimes in this situation all you can do is take it 1 minute at a time. Not even one day - just get thru that minute. I went thru a divorce when my youngest was 4 - oldest 14. I had 5 kids. They're now 15-25. Some days ALL I wanted to do was go in to the shower and bawl like a baby. Why the shower? So they didn't know I was crying. Of course, as you well know - there's no privacy in there either. ;)

You'll make it and believe it or not- it will get easier. And in time, you will feel stronger and less broken. I don't hate my ex any more. I pity him for all the time and experiences that he lost with my kids. 11 years and counting - he's never paid child support or seen the kids. And now it's not just our kids he's missing out on but a grand baby. They lose so much when they choses the route that Joe has.

One day - one hour - one minute at a time. You can do this!

Jensamom23 said...

Oh, Dawn! The fact that you get up each morning and step out bed and tackle the day as you do (tears and all) makes you very strong.
Blessings!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry that you are feeling so down right now, but you need to hear this: You ARE strong. Stregth is trying your best every day. It is acknowledging our mistakes and trying to learn from them, from staying instead of running away, and showing your children EVERY day that you will be there for them, and strength is having very real emotions, giving in to how they make you feel, and feeling blessed that there is a new day tomorrow to tell your family you love them and to try to do better. You are an incredible role model for your children...warts and all....but please...remember that your children will read your words about Joe, and although he does not deserve your protection, your beautiful kids do...they are one half him and anything you say against him, they will feel deep within themselves.

Glenda said...

Oh, sweetie! I'm so sorry. I've been there, done that in the relationship department. You are NOT a failure. You are the stability and love and care for your family. You're the glue holding yourself and your family together in really tough times. And 364 days out of the year, you're succeeding wonderfully. All the little 'glitches' and 'disappointments' only come to that 1 day total out of the whole year. You hang in there, Dawn - you're doing just fine; you've just had so many years of him putting you down, that you don't realize how STRONG and IMPORTANT you are.

healingtouch said...

BRAVO I SAY ! Just by posting this, you proved that you are very strong...and human!
To the commenters that said you shouldn't vent on here where your kids can read it..I say POOOOO on them! Your kids are your support system and you guys need one another. It shows your true emotions to them. Its not healthy to hold that in and let them think that everything is just honky dorey! If we didn't allow ourselves to vent like you just did, then we would explode! Wish I lived close by so I could just hug you.

Shari H said...

Oh Dawn I want to reach right through my monitor and hug you. You always help us see the funny things in life, but it seems like you have no one you can unload on. I know what you are going through believe me when I say it will get easier, it will get better. One thing you need to know right now is that you are not a failure you are not worthless!!!! Write that down on a card or cards put it where you can see it everyday and remember that. You are a talented, wonderful, smart, beautiful, and yes strong woman!!!!!!

I am so sorry that you are going through this.

Ruth said...

Emotionally strong is keeping going no matter what the odds and adversities in your path are. So by that definition you are strong. You are making the best of a very rotten situation and trying to hold it all together so your kids will be well adjusted and know that they are loved. Are you going to drop the ball occationally, or let someone down? Everyone lets someone down or disappoints someone from time to time. It's life, and crap happens. Welcome to the human race. Don't appologize for being human.

BTW, you are teaching your kids by example how to persevere and be strong. An occational failure or break down is to be expected and they need to how to deal with that as well.

Anonymous said...

Awww Dawn,
I so wish I could give you hugs in person but I think the cheesy internet hugs will have to do from a stranger. Who says you have to be strong all the time 24/7? Its ok to be sad, overwhelmed and just plain ole mad. That doesn't mean your broken. It means you are mourning the death of a relationship, no matter how bad it was. You have literally learned to move forward for the sake of your kids but you HAVE THE RIGHT to vent, cry and feel however you want. You're kids have the right to see it. I agree don't disparage their dad as much as possible but be honest with them too. Let them know that you along with them don't understand his choices and it upsets you.
My ex ended up spending time in the county jail for non payment of child support which only frustrated me more because then I knew he wasn't working and couldn't even attempt to send me anything. This is a rough process for anyone to go through. It tests our strength as a woman, person and mom. However you have allowed your kids to see you ARE human and you have feelings. There is NOTHING wrong with that. And there is NOTHING wrong with hating the situation or the person who has created the situation. Feelings change and moments change. But in this moment you feel the way you do. Know you have a group of virtual supporters who have never met you but send you love and positive thoughts your way.

Anne said...

I walked down a similar road about 15 years ago. I felt I was a failure, and that I was disappointing everyone, especially my kids who were struggling through a difficult time right along with me. I cried, and sometimes I screamed. Mostly I hated myself for not being able to keep it together for the sake of my children.

My kids are older now, and look back on that time with grown up eyes. What they see is a mom who was struggling through one of the darkest times in her life. They know I love them, with all of my heart, and that is the only thing that matters. They understand that it's ok if you're not perfect, that sometimes you'll scream and cry, and then you pick yourself up and keep moving forward.

My kids learned some very important life lessons during that terrible time, and we all came out stronger on the other side. Your children will also look back some day and see you for the amazing woman you are. Not a disappointment, or a failure, but a mom struggling to keep it together while her world is falling apart.

They'll love and respect you even more for your strength and your weakness. Just like everyone who reads your blog does on a daily basis.

Anonymous said...

No woman can be tough all the time, sometimes a good cry is very theraputic! Why Joe has chosen to be such a bleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep ( long string of profanity is beyond me. But it just proves to me what a selfish bastard he is. I hope that time will help sooth some of your pain Dawn! you have alot of people rooting for you. AND I hope that bastards reads this and comes to his senses

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm writing to say thank you.
Thank you for being so honest. For putting a smile on my face when I read about your gorgous kids, for admitting that every mum once in a while struggles and for giving me hope. I'm currently going through a divorce with two kids and one on the way. By reading your blog I know that there are women everywhere who have been or are going through this. I am not alone and neither are you.
You have six fantasic kids who will grow up knowing they are loved.
Keep your chin up, there are people praying for you.
Karen in Scotland xx

Anonymous said...

When you find yourself in hell, just keep walking. You just put one foot in front of the other and before you know it those steps have turned into miles and you'll find your self on the other side. Don't worry about the future. Just one step, and then another, they add up.

It's ok to break down in front of your kids, moms ARE allowed emotions.

Linda said...

You are indeed strong! And beautiful! I'm so sorry that you are having a hard time. :(

Hugs from Norway!

Kenny and Chrissy said...

I have to disagree with some of your other readers. I actually think that responding to tragedy and heartbreak in an honest way is exactly what your children need. I'm sure they are heartbroken, too. Seeing you allow yourself to experience is honestly may give them the same permission as well. Your family will never heal until your heartbreak is dealt with.

Hang in there, Dawn. You may be broken, but you aren't beaten.

Jessica said...

Praying for you!!!

SandyAnnDee said...

Your falling tears were not a sign of weakness, but of release. Sometimes you just have to let the negative energy flow out of you to make room for God's grace to flow within you.

Like so many, I find you to be an inspiration! Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

mommeeof9 said...

My favorite Winnie the Pooh quote seems appropriate. "you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

You're the mom, we take everything on our selves and want to fix it all. Sometimes, we do our best and it has to be good enough. Your kids have a wonderful mother. They know you love them and would do anything humanly possible for them. You will get through this, stronger than you were before.

Jenni H said...

While I have to agree with Kristen (2nd comment, and she said it better than I ever could have), I also want to say that, since we ALL have days like this (some more often than others) we ALL need to remember that the bad days don't make the good days false. The good days ARE good and are a reflection of our lives as much as the bad days are. On days like today, remember the good days and push on through the bad.

Anonymous said...

Dawn,

I haven't commented on your divorce until now because I didn't know how to relate to how "strong" you were being. I have been horribly sad for your situation and how the kids must feel but I just didn't feel I had any words of comfort; and the fact you were handling it so well. This post is real and it takes a brave and strong person to express such deep, honest feelings.

I'm still married but it's anything but perfect. We're "trying". My husband left me last summer, moved out, set-up a new place and everything. A whole lot of damage was done (he was horrible to me). He had some problems, too so I'm trying to find the grace and forgiveness inside myself for his mistakes. It's not easy.

What I couldn't relate to in your situation was he was still a good Dad. In fact his desire to be 50/50 was hard because I couldn't imagine having my kids for only half the time. I was broken. I would cry endlessly, falling on the floor, in a ball. My "weakness" was evident to all. It took awhile for me to stop the tears, pick myself up, and be "strong" because I had no choice. My kids needed me. They were broken, too. I was in a different place, I didn't want a divorce (he did) and the pain he was causing me was unreal. Two months later he moved back (this was last Nov 09) and divorce is probably not off the table but we're trying. Honestly, it takes strength to stay and it takes strength to say "that"s it", we can't do this anymore. My God, you have 6 kids and you're doing it alone. You are STRONG! You would not be human if you didn't cry, feel weak, feel all the things you feel. It's normal and it's okay. It also takes strength to fake it for the sake of the kids. To smile, laugh, take them places, continue life like normal when all you want to do is cry, quit, and fall apart. I've seen my best friend go through hell and back with her divorce and although being a single mom will never be easy she is okay. You will be, too. You already know that though, you have your faith. I can't imagine what you're going through. My heart breaks for you and the kids. What I do know from the small snapshot of your life you let us in on; your kids are so lucky to have you. Even in your weakest moments, even though you feel broken, your kids are blessed to have you as their mother. God is there for you. Lean on your faith and pray all the time. My faith is what got me off the floor and back into the world of taking care of my kids and myself. You're in my prayers.

Tonia

Jen said...

So here's the thing, as bad as it was last night, you got up this morning and began again. That's what real parents do. As a foster parent who takes in kids from homes where parents really do let their kids down, know that you are far from failing them.

lori said...

listen to me. this is way too much weight you have to carry on your shoulders. if you haven't already, get to the doctor and get some medication. it is a life saver. the only person who doesn't love you enough is you. and you have to get help to find that love inside of you. you just need help climbing out of that black hole. and when you do, oh happy day!! remember, we are all cheering you on.

Dan and Amy said...

I have read your blog for years now and never commented. You are strong!! You have been put in an impossible situation. You are doing the best you can which is just going to have to be good enough. You can only do what you can do, and nothing more. You are raising six kids on your own. I shutter to think what would happen if I had to raise my own two - I would be probably dropping many more balls then you are with six!! As a Christian Sister, I release you from the guilt the enemy is using to bring you down right now. I want to remind you that you are not going this road alone - that Jesus is walking it not only with you but before you. Yes, you are going to feel as those you are failing at times - and you will fail - but you will also have successes down this road. All that truly matters is tat you love your kids with your whole heart, and you do. I will be praying for all of you. Much love and big hugs, Dawn!!!

cyn said...

My family is going through a nightmare of a time right now. What keeps me going is the strength of my friends and family. Remember the poem "Footsteps" We are not meant to go through life by ourselves. God is there to carry us through the bad times. He wants us to turn to him when we are not feeling strong. As Moms, we need to be an example of this to our children. Let God carry you during your times of need. His shoulders are strong enough. I have to cling to his promise that is God led you to it, He will lead you through it!! Hang in there!!

Winona said...

(((hugs))) to you, Dawn... thank you for sharing your life with us, warts and all. High school friends of mine (together for 22 years!) are currently dealing with the dissolution of their marriage, making sure their two kids handle it, etc., but thankfully they're doing it in a far healthier fashion than apparently Joe is trying with you - and it's *still* not easy. There's lots of people out there who love you (even those of us who don't officially know you!).

Anonymous said...

Kristen, no one said anything about getting revenge??

Dawn appears to be posting as a woman exhausted by a frustrating divorce. I think it's okay, that the children have an idea of what's going on, because it does and will affect them, and I think Dawn is mature and responsible enough to talk with them in an appropriate way.

I'm sure for all her single comment on her blog, "I hate Joe", there's a heck of a lot more talking going on in her life with her kids.
They're hardly going to read the blog and think "oh what a shock!" They'll know the back story behind the comment and have seen for themselves what's happening in their lives.

JoAnna said...

Hugs to you, Dawn. I just found your blog this week and have enjoyed it tremendously. I just wanted to thank you for your book, Because I Said So. I read it during a very unhappy time last year and it made me LAUGH until I hurt.
Advice? Keep finding the funny and sharing it with the world. Your words are reassuring for many - myself included. "The best you and do is the best you can do and the best you can do is enough."

Anonymous said...

I understand the feelings you are experiencing, I agree with some posters who suggest it is ok for your kids to see you cry. I think they need to know you are just one person and they can still rely on you, just like always. I think you are being hard on yourself, and I get that, but try to cut yourself some slack. You should consider some counseling to give you an outlet without ever worrying about your words being thrown in you face. Also, those with chronic illness often manipulate those around them, and know just where to strike where it will do the most damage. ETOH addiction is an illness and Joe seems to have mastered manipulation.

Alice Maureaux said...

I am so glad you finally said that! You are strong for saying how you feel! I'm going through the exact same thing and was wondering what was wrong with me that I broke down and cried about how unfair things were in my divorce, but you never seem to. My ex cheated on me and people that he talks to first always believe him that I'm the bad guy. I lost my house and my security among many other things. I ended up breaking down and writing about what a jerk he was being on my blog and someone called me and said I shouldn't have done that because I have kids that may read it someday. Well, you know what? Maybe I'm human and you are too! I don't complain about him to my kids or tell them any of the horrible things he did, so one little note on my blog about him not being great is not a bad thing! Maybe we shouldn't sugar coat everything for our kids anyway. Maybe if they saw how hard it is when one person is being such a jerk, they will in turn decide to not ever be jerks to others? Who knows, all I know is that I'm human, you're human and we are OK!

Shannon said...

Being strong doesn't mean you never break. It means that when you do, you cry it out then get back up and keep on trudging along. It doesn't mean you always have a smile on your face, it doesn't mean you never feel anger or fear or hurt. Just the fact that you continue to get up and keep your life going means you really, truly ARE a strong woman.

LindaHH said...

I was married for 23 years and then one day I wasn't. I've been divorced for 17 years and I can't believe it's been that long. I still learn new things every day about how to survive, how to thrive and how to grow. Give yourself a break, just keep putting one foot in front of the other until you look around and find out that you got somewhere. Pat yourself on the back for the things you accomplish and forgive yourself for the things that fall short. As far as you ex or soon to be ex, just remember, the opposite of love is indifference, not hate. Indifference takes a while to get to, but it will come. Focus on your kids and yourself and the good things in your life and let the rest take care of itself. It was a rocky road sometimes but I have two adult kids that I like and respect, two grandsons that I adore, a wonderful son in law and a lot of good friends. You'll get there, you just need some time. Believe me, I know.

Kimmerie said...

It's awful. I know. I have had to break down in front of my small son a lot lately. And he's had to try to understand Mama being in a mental hospital for a while (yes, my breakdown was that bad.)

Some days are worse and some days are bearable. And some days I feel like the worst mother ever... but he still loves me. Some days that's what keeps me going. And some days it makes me feel worse.

But you *are* strong. You are broken now, but you're still waking up and feeding your children. You can keep going. You will always have cracks inside, but they will be bearable.

Thousands and thousands of people - who have never even met you - love you and are grateful to you for understanding, for sharing, for helping us get through the day.

We're here. We love you. You can hold on.

Valerie said...

Dawn honey,

I've been where you are. You cannot be strong all the time and you certainly have more than enough reason to break down now and again. Just remember this. You are only human and because of that you will not be able to avoid hurting those you love the most. On the upside, you have the BEST strong shoulder to lean on.....HIM!! Even tho He is not visibly standing beside you when the rough patches come, be assured He is still there nonetheless.

The tears are part of the grieving process each one of us has to go through, regardless of WHAT we are grieving the loss of, be it a marriage, a loved one, a pet, whatever. Anger is another part of the grieving process and you have every right to be angry!!! There are a few steps you will go through but you will come out the other end stronger for having experienced each step, holding your head high and leaning on your large support group that is around you. Even your readers are part of your support group and I suspect many of us have been in shoes very similar to yours at one time or another.

Tears are also a release valve when the pressure builds up too high. Let them flow, repair the makeup when you are done, blow your nose *handing you a box of tissue* and somewhere you will manage to find the strength to pick up and keep going, putting one foot in front of the other and loving your kids as only a mom can love them. I won't lie and tell you this gets any easier; what I will tell you is that you willl find the strength you need to get up each morning, face your day, love your kids, and continue to reach out with your blogging.

Valerie
warriorofgod200141@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

"When you looked back and saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you..."

Dawn, you don't need me to point out that God is with you during this difficult time - you already know that. What I want to point out is that you are an incredible person! Joe was nothing but dead weight that needed to be gotten rid of. You're doing that and teaching your wonderful kids a very valuable lesson. Your girls know not to take crap from ANYONE no matter what. Your boys know that it's NOT acceptable to treat people the way Joe has treated you and them.

As for your post - you do whatever you need to do to help make yourself feel better. Don't you dare bottle things up inside just so the kids think that everything is perfect!! They are smart human beings and can sense when something is wrong. If they read your blog, so be it. It will help keep the lines of honest communication open with them. That's what they really need right now. There's also nothing wrong with crying in front of them! If you feel the need to cry, you go ahead and do it. Believe me, you are all going to help each other through this difficult time and you'll ALL be stronger for it in the end.

We're all here for you (near and far)!! xoxoxo

Donna in PA :)

Anonymous said...

Dawn, you've been the source of so much enjoyment for so many, as evident by the number of posters here. Now is time to take a moment; be that a day, a week, a month, whatever - to get back to what you need.

You are not expected to be a superhero, don't feel like if you have a chink in your armour then you are a failure - you are not. You are a successful woman, an undoubtedly fantastic friend and an awesome mother to 6 wonderful kids. Most of all you are human.

Noone that cares anything about you or your situation is in a position to judge you. Should they feel judging is necessary, then you don't need them.

This is a terribly rough patch you're having to walk through, but you have the support of many, many people out here, and you have your kids who would cherish the ground you walk on. You will get through.

Kelly R. said...

Thank you Dawn for having the guts to post this. I've been reading you for years and am now currently going through a divorce. So many times recently I have felt EXACTLY like what you just wrote. Unless you've been through it, you can't even imagine the overwhelming depression and insecurity. I know how you feel and you're not alone. I think we both know that this will pass but it still stinks right now.

Silvergirl said...

Hi Dawn-

I'm just someone that loves to read your blog, your adventures. I can understand why you feel this way. You should know that no matter what our family is like, what king of job we have or our marital status, we all let things fall through the cracks, that we all disappoint others and that we're not all perfect. There's nothing wrong with showing your emotion and crying. And I'm sure your kids will feel better knowing how you feel. I wish I could help you in some way.

Hugs and prayers to you,
Lisa

Tammy said...

Your kids see a hero when they look at you. You have pure motives. You love your kids. You love God.

Seriously. What else matters in eternity? I don't know who made you feel terrible, but they should be ashamed of themselves. You are going through it right now, and whoever is putting even more expectations on you is insensitive.

And you need to give yourself a break, too. What would you tell a friend or sister dealing with what you are dealing with? "You've failed again?!!!" NO. You'd encourage, walk along side, help, hug. That's what we're all doing for you. :0)

Hope you're coping better. And if you're not, I highly recommend therapy. And drugs.

Amanda said...

I can't tell you how many times a day I think of the people I've let down, the people who counted on me, the people I love and the fact that I feel like I can't do anything right.

But then every so often I remember the lyrics of a song by Sara Groves "You can live for someone else, and it will only bring you pain. I can't even judge myself. Only the Lord can say, "Well done."

You are amazing, Dawn. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

Dawn...I don't know if you have time to read all of these comments. I hope so. I am the mom of 5 and have been through a recent divorce (as of April of this year) after 20 years of marriage. I have 5 kids. I have a Masters Degree and I'm an NP, however, I am proudest of the fact that I'm a MOM OF FIVE.
My ex and I were not on friendly terms but 6 days after we split up 2 years ago our #4 child developed some horrible health problems. Suffice it to say...he's fighting for his life right now. My ex and I have been able to get over our animosity in order to care for our son. I think we are closer than we have EVER been. We may not be partners but we are PARENTS.
I guess I'm sending this to you to let you know that there is hope that you will resolve this with Joe in a positive way. Good luck to you. I will pray that all goes well. Please pray for my son. He has leukemia and is fighting like a warrior.
Shirley
Pedsrn9999@sbcglobal.net

Dorothy said...

I read your post tonight and I burst into tears. I've never been where you are at this moment with divorce proceedings and I don't have children of my own. However, my sister is a single mom with 5 children all under the age of 5. My sister is an amazing mom. All of the children were adopted and came from abusive homes or drug addicted parents. They all came with their own unique personalities and baggage, whether they were verbal or non-verbal when she got them. There are days when those children can try her patience to the inth-degree of her sanity. Yet she gets up every morning and dresses them, feeds them, gets them to day care or school, goes to work, picks them all up, feeds them dinner, bathes them, reads to them, cuddles with them, scolds them when necessary, teaches them, and goes to bed every night completely exhausted. There are days when she worries that she's not being a good enough mom, or someone will say something totally insensitive and hurt her feelings. Honestly, I look at my sister and am in complete awe of all that she does day in and day out. She takes care of those precious children, she keeps her house as clean as she possibly can, she works, and still makes time to take the children to ballet lessons, or the zoo, or to play dates with other children... okay, so I'm partial. She's my sister after all. However, when I read your blog tonight, I immediately felt protective of you like I would for my own sister. You are an AMAZING mom. Your humor is incredible. You are also a beautiful woman... if I were a man I'd want to date you myself! LOL Shh, don't tell my husband I said that! LOL But I just wanted to tell you that there are many of us out here in the world that wish we lived closer so that we could help out with running the children to their activities, running errands for you so that you don't have to, watching the kids so that you can enjoy "me time" and take a long hot bubble bath, or go to a movie with a friend, take a nap in the middle of the afternoon if you wanted, or go to a park to read a book without having constant interruptions. You have every right to feel overwhelmed and angry at Joe. I agree that it's good for the children to see that mommy is human and has emotions other than happiness, humor, or sarcasm. They need to know that mommies can have hurt feelings too and you are showing them that it's okay to cry and feel broken. They'll be watching as you also put the pieces back together and move forward. This would be the perfect time to show them that prayer helps to heal mommies' hearts too. Some day, they may look back and reflect on the day that mommy was sad and cried and that she prayed. It may help them through tough times in their own lives. I apologize if I'm rambling, but I wanted you to know that so many of us think you are an incredible woman, you are strong whether you feel you are or not. You are a daughter of the most high God, and that makes you royalty. He is there to buoy you up when you feel you are drowning and he is the shelter when the storms of life rage against us. Seek comfort in His love. I'll be praying for you. I wish you peace in your heart and comfort in your soul. (((((hugs)))))

Linda said...

Whoa!! You are allowed to have a crappy day, two, week, however long. You are doing the most important job in the world times SIX and you're doing it alone without the emotional, physical, or financial support of the person who was supposed to be by your side. You drop the ball sometimes? Okay. How many have you kept in the air? You cried? Sweetie, your emotions cannot stay locked up inside of you all the time. You have to vent and let it out. You're human. Someone hurt you and hurt your kids. It's okay to cry, be frustrated, and feel overwhelmed. Allow yourself that. Then take a deep breath or 10. You're learning to live a whole new normal. Be patient with yourself. Know that when you need to vent, have had a hard day, or just need to scream that life sucks right now, there are people here who will listen and hold you up. It's the least we can do for you. You have provided many smiles and laughs for us with your stories when we needed an escape from our reality. Hugs to you!

C Barnes said...

To Kristen at 10:12pm: You have no idea! As a 23-year-old, you have no idea what it's like to have a long marriage crumble, what it's like to have 6 children, the oldest of whom when you look at them, you still feel like you're their age, to have started your marriage as a young adult and end it as a relatively-still young adult but with huge responsibilities. And the kids, especially Savannah are smarter than you think and probably respect and admire their mother for how well she holds up - and probably need her to break down now and again so that they know she's in as much pain as they are. I am a mother and I am a child of divorce.

Dawn, I respect you. I grieve for you. Vent when you need to - your readers need to know you're ok and THIS is part of the path of healing.

Kelsie said...

Dawn, I know you don't know who I am, but I wanted to tell you that I love you and your blog and your stories and your kids and I'm praying for you. I hope I can be a mom like you when I grow up.

Love,
Kelsie

Clare, Tonbridge, UK said...

Dawn

I have read the next entry however your post made me cry. This could have been me 10 years ago. The problem is when someone makes you feel like a piece of rubbish for a long time, then you start to believe them and it's difficult to think otherwise. Rest assured, from this blog you don't come across as rubbish at all. I'm amazed at how well you seem to be coping and being strong for the kids. Things do get better,just not all at once and you bounce back to low very quickly but it does start to happen less.

It doesn't hurt for the kids to see you cry either. They know you're a great mom, but sometimes it's not such a bad thing for them to know that you're also vulnerable and hurting too.

Divorce was the best thing for me, both on a personal level and for me and my son. We've got a great relationship and he's really protective of me, and he's still only 12.

Anonymous said...

I'm a little late reading and posting this and I'm glad you're feeling better. But please know that it's okay to cry in front of your kids once in a while as long as they see you get up and brush yourself off when you're done. Hang in there!

Tech Mama said...

<>

Dawn, what you are going through now is my worst fear. To marry a man you love, bring children into the world and begin the work, struggle and triumph of raising them into happy, healthy adults, and then have your partner bail halfway through, that is my fear. So many women (and men for that matter) go through this, and I worry that there's nothing so special about me to escape that pain unscathed. I will continue to hope, but I want you to know I completely understand why you don't feel strong.

As teenagers, they may not tell you enough (they are still discovering you're not perfect, and that is hard for everyone), but you are doing the best you can. Some days that means having it (almost) together. Some days it'll mean crying for an hour in the car with the kids. But, you are teaching them a lesson that is SO important. Life is hard, but family is worth the work, the strife, and the struggle. You will muddle through, and we're here for you, whatever that's worth. Thank you for sharing it all.

Ruth Knotts said...

Oh Dawn your post made me cry. We all feel this way from time to time...Hang in there!
Thank you for all the times you made me laugh, you don't ever let me down!!
You are an awesome Mom and I think it is healthy to cry in front of your kids, no one is perfect and it's let them know it!!

Cheryl Wilson - O'Pry said...

Buckle up and hold on, baby! It's going to be a rough ride but YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!!!

beagle said...

Honey you don't have to be strong all the time. You take each day as it comes and do the best you can. Healing takes time and don't let anyone tell you it must be done overnight. *hugs*

Margee said...

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.

In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.

This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,

“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Mary Stevenson, 1936

We love you Dawn, as so does He.

Lisa said...

Dawn,Being strong doesn't mean NEVER being weak or breaking down. It doesn't mean you can't cry.Instead of thinking you are not strong because you cry remember you ARE strong enough to cry!Do you want to know what I think about Joe? I think he left because you ARE strong and he can't handle the fact that you can be someone without him.You have done so good for yourself and those beautiful kids of yours.Have FAITH and try to find peace in everything,Lisa

Lyuda said...

Hey, it's okay to vent!! You are only human! Sometimes, you have a bad day, and the next day, it gets better and you wonder why you felt so bad, and that is just everything getting to you! Totally normal and happens to the strongest of us. Hugs to you!!

tanyetta said...

You won't always be broken inside! Your kids love you no matter what!

Spuds said...

You know.... if you look over the fence at my side of the yard I am the same way. Single father of six... blamed for everything... trying to make everyone happy... trying to put up a brave front... I'd never admit to crying... but, Dawn, it's not easy and you're not alone in feeling those things. And remind me to kick anyone's ass who calls you fat! Just point them out to me!

Anonymous said...

There is strength in weakness and you know who can give you strength and peace through the situation. Give it all to HIM!!! He will carry you through each day. I can't even begin to imagine the load you are carrying, but He has promised to never leave you. Hold on to His promises and you will get through this and your children will also get through this. I am praying for you dear one!!

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry, Dawn, that you and the kids have to go through this. There are no words I can say that make it better. :(

Supplanter64 said...

You are a beautiful woman Dawn. God loves his girls. He's right there with you.

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart! My mother tells me all the time, 'There was only one perfect One and look what they did to Him.'

My prayers are with you for comfort.

Robin E. from Mississippi

The Empress said...

Oh, I've been there. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Poor thing, I wish I could hug you.

Robin said...

Dawn - (I was on vaca with the family so am just now reading this post) I'm sorry you've been feeling this way but it solidifies that your decision to leave Joe was a good one. NO ONE should ever make you feel bad about yourself! NO ONE! Especially someone who is supposed to love you. I don't know all of Joe's issues but I know enough from what you've blogged to know that he's the one letting people down and being a failure...and certainly dropping the ball as a parent.

Hold your head high Dawn Meehan! You ARE one strong, brave woman! Your children are going to grow up to be amazing, creative, talented people and it'll be because of you.

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Kim said...

I think maybe you should avoid your sister's house if that's the effect it has on you. :) Just kidding. Always looking for the bright side. I think I'll avoid your sister's house though. You know, just in case.
Hope you're feeling better and having a wonderful day!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Just hopped over from Jen's and I was reading through your posts. And this one really hit home.
I have been there. As I'm sure many others have. I didn't read through the other comments.
Healing and confidence does not mend overnight. But it WILL heal. And you'll be a stronger person despite the brokeness you are feeling right now.
It will come one day at a time. That's how I learned to cope.

I wish you luck!!!

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