Character Interview w/ Michelle Tucker of Crushed Love
Twenty-year-old Michelle Tucker finds herself devastated when an obsession for dating the wrong type of man claims her freedom and relationship with her four-year-old. Filled with heartrending betrayal, devastation, adversity and more, Crushed Love follows Michelle through a gauntlet of sacrifice and redemption as she struggles to find herself and piece back together her life.
Michelle, what was your childhood like?
Normal. Considering the type of childhood my best friend had, very normal. Parents were and still are happily married and have been very active in church for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I didn’t have everything I wanted – a fancy car, designer purses or clothes or shoes – but my momma and daddy made sure I’d everything I needed.
What made you want to tell your story?
Because so many women in today’s day and age can relate to me. Falling for and being in love with the wrong type of man – a.k.a. “Mr. Wrong” – not realizing the risks and consequences that come with dating that kind.
What’s your biggest regret?
Well, actually there’re two. Wish I would’ve been a bit more cautious about the man I chose to bring around my son because, in no way, was he the type of role model my son needed. My second is hurting his father the way I did. Took him for granted and cheated on him with I don’t know how many men, you know, like most women do at such a young age. Treat good men like trash and no good men like kings. Naïve, young, dumb and stupid and don’t realize it until after the fact – when it’s too late.
How much of your experiences are circumstance and how much are poor choices?
Can’t speak for every woman, but I’m sure most will agree; most all my experiences were poor choices. Sad thing about it is my momma and daddy saw it the whole time and was trying to tell me to do better, but did I listen? Nope. Just kept on. Thought I was grown and knew everything, which’s how I wound up in the predicament I’m in now. Incarcerated.
By your own admission, you have an obsession with dating the wrong type of guy. Most girls can relate to feeling that thump, thump for Mr. Dead Wrong. But how did you get from attraction to an unhealthy desire?
The night he slapped me out of my sleep and threatened to kill me if my son’s father stepped foot anywhere near my house. I was like, really? What type of man tries to hinder a child’s father from visiting and making sure his son is taken care of? But I can’t place blame on him because he was only doing what I allowed to go on for so long, like so many. It’s like, at the time you don’t realize what you’re doing, because you love this man so much and want to make it work with him that you’ll allow and do just about anything to make that happen, even, subconsciously, place your child in harm’s way by trusting and allowing him around your child, a terrible decision.
What was the scariest moment of your life?
Watching the police car in front of the one – I was in – drive away with my son in the backseat. Hearing him cry out my name, knowing there was nothing I could do or say to fix what I’d done. Even though he was only four at the time, he was smart enough to know what it meant whenever the police showed up at our house, because the only other times they’d shown up was when the man I was dating at the time had put his hands on me in front of him and when the lady living in the project directly behind us was killed.
What was the happiest moment of your life?
No-brainer. The day I had my son. Despite the circumstance of his father being heartbroken over not knowing whether he was the father, I’ll never forget the tearful smile he had and way he was overwhelmed with joy at knowing Kavion could possibly be his. That he’d finally have the son he’d always talked about having since our first date. To know I played a part in giving that to him is something I’ll never be able to put into words.
Who do you owe an apology? Why?
First and foremost, God. I wish I wouldn’t have relied so strongly on my momma’s prayer and went to him in prayer for myself and my son. Who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t be in this position if I had’ve. But it’s hard to predict what would’ve happened because God allows certain things for a reason. Only if I’d known back then what I know now, I’d have made better decisions. Lesson learned. All I can do now is concentrate on what’s ahead and try to forgive myself for hurting my son, momma and daddy, something I never thought would actually happen because I’d everything under control, right? Nonsense! I was as dumb and selfish as could be. And to think, I was putting other mothers down through boasting and bragging about how great of a mother I was, when all along, I was being more of a burden to my child than the man I was dating at the time because I was allowing it to happen. Not him. Me! I was the ring leader. I was the one who said, ‘roll up a blunt,” knowing my son was just down the hall, in his room, sleep, with the door wide open. I was the one allowing him to call me all types of ‘b****es and h**s. Me! Wanna know the worst part? I don’t think I’ll ever be able forgive myself for allowing my son to see something like that.
Give some advice to women who might be in a predicament similar to yours.
I know you think dating Mr. Wrong is cool or fun or whatever, but it’s not worth it. Agony and heartbreak and being lied to on a constant basis. It’s not worth it. You deserve better than to be called a b**** or h* or only to be called upon when sex is needed. Find a good man and hold on tight. Do not take him for granite and let go of his hand to grab the hand of a man who couldn’t care less about whether you and your child starve to death. Because there’s a man out there who’ll try to get you to sell your food stamps, who’ll leave you high and dry without a pot to piss in and not think a thing about it while he’s out doing only God knows what with the money you gave him, while you and your baby are at home starving. Don’t be that woman. Don’t be me. Choose better than me. Be better. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself in here because of something that could’ve easily been avoided had you listened and took heed.
About the Author
Tavares Marquez Jones was born in Swainsboro, Georgia on March 30, 1986, the first child of Lillie Jones, the second son of Willie Dawson. His father was a pastor and entrepreneur, his mother a housekeeper at a nursing home, then an assembly worker in both an environmental technology and energy conservation plant and a poultry factory. He lived in Swainsboro through high school, graduated in 2004, and received a full football scholarship to Middle Tennessee State University. After enjoying a wonderful first three years both in the classroom and on the field, he fractured a bone in his right foot in a game towards the end of his senior season. Because of injury, he was unable to perform to the best of his ability in front of scouts. Therefore, his draft stock plummeted. He went from being projected as a mid-to-late round pick in the NFL Draft to not getting picked up at all. For about two or three years, he worked a few jobs here and there, an assembly worker at a Nissan plant, maintenance man at a nursing home, replenishment associate at JC Penney, before wholeheartedly rediscovering a passion he had kept secret from everyone – including his mother – WRITING. He writes novels with themes that include poverty, love, Christianity, inspiration, tragedy and perseverance. He finds writing very refreshing, inspirational, and exciting.