“Saying goodbye to what once had a hold on me”

If I were to take a poll and ask what does Labor Day mean to you, I am sure most would say it’s a United States federal holiday and probably excitement if lucky enough to have the day off from work. Some might say it is a day of appreciation for having employment or a day of recognition for all laborers in the workforce. If one were to ask me what does Labor Day mean to you Carman, my will response will not be any of the above. My response goes like this.

Labor Day, September 3, 2012, my life changed forever. One that I will never forget. It is a day for years that carried hurt, anger, depression, embarrassment, and misery in my mind, heart, body, and soul. Initially, it is a day that I wished I could erase from the calendar and never see it again.

You are probably wondering how can Labor Day, a day that is to celebrate having a job, evoke those emotions in me. What is it about Labor Day that would cause this to you? What in the world happened? Here’s the answer. On September 3, 2012, I endured what I call the “walk of shame.”

Let me rewind the clock. I was going through a divorce and seeking joint custody from the courts. If children are over the age of twelve, the children can decide which parent they want to live. The oldest children made the choice to live with their father. I was more of the disciplinarian, and he was the cooler and more laid back parent. If I was child, I probably would have done the same. Because of their selection, he would maintain ownership of the home, and I was informed by my attorney that I would soon have to leave. I just didn’t know when it would be. Believe me when I say, I wasn’t mentally prepared for the day when it arrived. I don’t think there was a way to prepare my mind for it.

August 31, 2012, I received a call from my attorney. He said it is time for you to vacate the house. Immediately, I began to cry and question God. I said this can’t be real. I felt I had been hit by a train, this was a bad dream, and I would awake at any moment. Unfortunately, it was real. He said you have to leave today. I said no. Monday is the holiday. I’m off work. It will give me time to pack my things, and I’ll leave. He agreed.

Monday came, and it was time for me to leave. I dread leaving all day long. I put it off as long as I could. I did not want to go. Who would? This was my home. It was a home that my three children lived. It was a home that my name was still legally on it. Even though I said I needed extra time to pack, I could never put my mind to actually do it. That Monday, I decided all I wanted was my clothes, my books, and my photo albums. He could have everything else.

That dreadful day, some family members were staying the night. Therefore, the house was full. In my mind , the moment I was leaving felt like a portion out of a script from a movie scene. All eyes were on me. As everyone watched, I walked down the stairs with my things in my hands and my head hung low. I loaded up my vehicle and drove to my parents home. Graciously and thankfully, my parents allowed me to move back in with them. When I left their house in June 1999, I never expected I would have to return years later. I felt defeated and broken inside.

Fast forward two years later, one of my best friends was having a tattoo party at her home. It was the weekend of Labor Day. She invited me to come and get a tattoo. I always wanted one, but I was scared to get one. I was raised strict Pentecostal, and one just didn’t get tattoos. I debated in my mind for hours. I came to the conclusion that I would get one and just go for it. I selected an image that has a sun and moon facing each other surrounded by stars. It symbolizes that even though there’ll be dark days (moon) light will soon follow (sun). For me, that was a perfect symbolic image for this thing called life.

For me, that was my first step in taking my life back. Taking my life back wasn’t easy nor was it something that would happen over night. I would have flashbacks of the “walk of shame” each year when Labor Day came. I became depressed all over again. One day, I told myself that I couldn’t keep going through this cycle. This isn’t good, and I needed to snap out of it . It took years for me to not sink to a low place when Labor Day came around. Eventually, I did overcome by my faith in God, praying, seeing a mental therapist, and support from family and close friends.

I am glad that I can humbly say Labor Day no longer has a hold on me. I can celebrate as others. I can be happy that I work at a bank and be one of those people excited about having a federal holiday off. I can ask my friends who’s grilling because I want some BBQ. I can relax, enjoy life and smile.

Here’s to saying goodbye to the “walk of shame” on Labor Day (the thing, the day that once had me bound). The day that once held me hostage in my heart, mind, body, and soul. The day that once took my breath away. The day that changed my life forever. The day that will no longer have a hold on me. Here’s to saying hello to Loving all of Carman: mind, heart, body and soul.

41 thoughts on ““Saying goodbye to what once had a hold on me”

  1. Wow Carman!! You have a beautiful mind & spirit. I met you years ago and didn’t know all of this but I have watched you go through your journey and I am so happy for you! You have truly made it through the storms and turned lemons into lemonade! God definitely had plans for you and I’m thankful that you were being obedient and listened to him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carmen, thank you for sharing your story and it was truly a pleasure to read. I know your blog will be words of affirmation, comfort and joy to others.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this Carman. It is very inspirational because we never know what a person is going through. I have watched you blossom and I am so proud of you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow Carman,looking at that beautiful smile on your face, proves,you never no what a person goin through,you keep shining Bright Like ADiamond🙏 awesome blog

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Carman thanks for sharing your story. Yesss I pray that it helps someone because it sure helped me. Never be ashamed of God’s Plan. Which at the time it didn’t feel that way and I truly truly understand. I don’t always understand his plan but I trust his plan. Keep breathing and enjoying your life. You are so beautiful inside and out

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing! Life is a roller coaster ride and unfortunately like the ride at a theme park we don’t always get to choose if we’re going to get on or not. Sometime we are forced to ride, however you’ve figured out how to hold on and not fall off and look at you now ❤️ Keep smiling and loving your complete self ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Carman! Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart with us. Praise GOD for the peace you now have in your heart, and for how HE worked this situation out in your favor! You have labored and the chains have fallen off… Happy Labor Day and cheers to immeasurable success with respect to your blog! GOD Bless You, Sister! ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Carmen, thanks for sharing! I never knew this. Believe me, I felt every bit of pain along with you as I was reading. Thank God for picking US up when we are in need.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carman you are a Sunshine that ends with rainbows. You don’t allow yourself to stay down and I love that about you. This blog is amazing. I love it

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow beautiful, well I’m glad you were able to pick up yourself and move on from your past. I’m sure now when you look back, you’d just smile cause the pain brought you this far and things are so much better for you. God bless your beautiful heart ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carman, your life is amazing. The way that you worded everything let me see with my mind’s eye what that day looked like for you. Wow! I’ve always known you to be a strong woman, but I must say that you are stronger than ever! Thanks for letting us in because A LOT of people need to read this and begin their healing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I Thank God for blessing you God enlarged your territory through your pain you birth out your purpose it will always encouge others your love you and your story

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Carman, wow what a testimony! So proud for you. You have that zest as your mom does. You put God first and he worked out your strong holds. To God be the glory young lady.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mrs. Carman,
    When I first gained knowledge of your divorce. I wanted to reach out to you but I didn’t want to invade your privacy. I prayed for you and those babies. You all have been family since Shania graced my classroom. I love you. I thank God you are a overcomer. The is a purpose for your pain. God is about to blow your mind. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. AMAZING and INTRIGUING!!!!! SUCH a great READ…I can’t wait for more Carman….thank you for sharing your road to freedom with us!!!! Love you Beautiful ❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  16. This is beautiful! This is an amazing read and I can’t wait to see more. You’re being such an inspiration to others. So proud you! Stay strong and be blessed!

    Liked by 1 person

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