#HERstory Feature: Faidra Washington-Gray from Dallas, TX
Written by gphradio on November 16, 2018
Faidra Washington-Gray from Dallas,TX
Written By: Kierra Si’Mone
Tell us your story?
Life has a way of knocking us down, but you have to be willing to get back up. I was sick to my stomach after hearing the judge tell me I had a 70 month sentence. I immediately calculated in my head how many years that was; 5 years and 10 months to be exact. Wait…..What!? All this time for never selling a drug!?! You mean to tell me I’m going to prison for loving a guy whom sold drugs? I thought to myself, “I should have sold the darn drugs myself. Tisk!”
At that point, I made up in my mind that my life would not end because of a prison sentence. I believed that I would live and not die. After my release, I didn’t know what to expect but I prepared my mind for the journey. The journey, oh was it something. Can you imagine completing 100’s of applications and no one calls because you have checked a box confirming you have been convicted of a felony?
I knew I had a great work ethic, but only if they would give me a chance. I thank God for those businesses that opened their doors and allowed me the opportunity to grow, acquire different skills, and build my resume. While working full-time, I returned to school and kicked open the doors of corporate America, knowing that everything I went through wasn’t for me, but someone else.
That someone else is the person who has lost hope. Let me tell you….whether you are hurting from a bad relationship, can’t seem to forgive yourself from a bad decision made years ago, or can’t forgive others. Have no fear, I understand what you are going through. Often, we are so ashamed of things that happen in life, we allow them to keep us in bondage. My pain has pushed me into my passion of helping those with a similar journey. No one is perfect, and life is so much better when you let go, walk in your truth, and PERSEVERE. Yes, it’s hard, and you may have to crawl before you can walk, but the will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by my 95 year old grandfather. He may be old, but he keeps going. He cook, drive and fish occasionally. I guess he’s where I got my will to persevere!
What was (is) the biggest challenge you’ve faced?
The biggest challenge I’ve faced was going to prison for simply knowing about my ex involvement in the drug possession. I never in a million years would think that I could serve time for something I’d never touched.
Often, I’m asked about my release and if it was a challenge, but I was in a different place mentally, spiritually, and content with life.
What does HerStory mean to you?
HerStory inspires women of all backgrounds to come together and unite. It also challenges women to seek what their purpose is and push past any doubt or fear they may have. And, it’s ok to have fun while you’re doing it.