by Misty Raley Gassaway
When I was 11, I got bullied for my pale skin, gross glasses, big forehead, sensitivity & excessive smiling. Random, but a very specific list. #mistymusings
It was a rough environment and the haters didn’t mess around. School had a pretty violent side to it, so when you didn’t fall into line, it got pretty intense. Now, Iooking back, I think “most of those physical attributes fit, it’s all good.” But at the time, I really wanted to match everyone else. I didn’t want acceptance. I wanted to blend in with the crowd and avoid knife fights. I never got why it went to that level, but the crowd was real serious about it. My home life wasn’t easy either. Every day I stood out negatively in my father’s eyes too. I hated standing out.
In many cases, I wasn’t great at blending in much because I had a big mouth. I recall some “friends” telling me, “If you can’t tan your skin or wear makeup, the least you could do is wear glitter. You are a ghost and yet your face is plain. You stick out like ugly produce, but mija, we still love you. But for real, you gotta change or you’ll never get picked to work, but if they do you be safe.” [I didn’t realize what that meant until many years later. Truth—A number of people were actually grooming girls to become pretty yet nondescript looking girls to work as legit drug mules.]
I remember racing home to find all the glitter I could. I parted my hair in a different way & wore whatever clothes would make me look more like the rest of my classmates. I had great luck for a whole week. Until an unfortunate incident where I ran out of body glitter & attempted to improvise. That day I accidentally grabbed the body wash instead of body glitter and smeared it all over my face and body. Then I let the Texas sun bake that soap in all day.
Needless to say, I had a horrific reaction & a revaluation about my body image. Humbled, I realized I needed an extreme shift & a stronger sense of self. The next day I returned plain faced/vibrant. I told the haters to come at me & that next year the drug ring was dismantled. ?
Fast forward to high school, my friend made me this drawing. I framed it. Reminds me of how much I like those same attributes of me that were less than, everything that was once hated was celebrated in this drawing.
PS- the artist never knew the previous back story, she just drew me as how she saw me. ❤
All to say—
#GodHasGotThis • Even when it doesn’t feel like He is working, He is working. If your story is still unfolding, hang tight. And you’re really beautiful as is, you lovely human!
After years of overcoming, the only thing that gets the best of Misty nowadays is Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream. Misty Raley Gassaway, from San Antonio, Texas, is married to Jason Gassaway. Together they aim to open their home and their resources to give back to others. Misty has had a variety of jobs over the years, but everyone involved working with children and their families. She has every intention to begin Christian seminary. Most weekends, you can find Misty hiking, traveling, or going to music festivals. Her loves include spicy food, emojis, hanging with her community, and going with her mom to buy unnecessary items at Costco. “