Life and Religion
|Caught up with Mister Wrong|
|Attracting jerks is all to common for friend|
|Published Thursday, January 10, 2013 8:29 am|
It seems some folks are just unlucky in love.
Take Eliza Hillstock for example. When I first met Eliza several years ago, she was married to this creep we’ll call Gary. He was abusive. He’d spit in her face if she got too sassy. I remember her saying that she’d rather Gary punch her, which he often did, than spit on her.
“It was humiliating,” she said. “And his breath always stunk. Just thinking about the smell makes me sick to my stomach.”
Gary made no secret that Eliza was not his only woman. She was just his wife. He had several girlfriends and flaunted them in her face; she’d even caught a few in their home. But she couldn’t so much as look in the direction of another man without sending Gary into a jealous rage.
One Sunday, while tailgating Uptown, Eliza innocently asked one of Gary’s male friends to pass her a plate, and Gary went ballistic.
“Oh, so you can’t get your own plate?” he asked with the same hostility that O-Dog displayed in the movie “Menace to Society” when asking the Korean storekeeper what he said about his mother.
Then, he snatched the plate away from Eliza and told her she didn’t need anything else to eat. She was big enough already, he said.
He always called her fat and ugly – even though she isn’t. She reminds me a lot of Mariah Carey, but cuter.
Gary and Eliza separated about six months after the tailgating incident. He left and moved in with a girlfriend.
Eliza seems to only date jerks that treat her like crap.
Honestly, it seems that everyone in Eliza’s life treats her badly, not just the guys she dates. Her children disrespect her. They call her stupid and other names they’ve heard their father say over the years.
She go months on end without speaking to her mother. When they speak, the conversation usually ends with Eliza’s mom telling her she’ll never amount to anything and she wishes she aborted her. She even sends Eliza hate letters.
If I hadn’t witnessed the madness firsthand, I wouldn’t believe it.
Even complete strangers treat Eliza like crap. One night we were walking Uptown, and this random guy walked up to us for absolutely no reason and told Eliza to “go to hell.”
Another time, she told me that she was at a nightclub and a guy she said she’d never met walked up behind her and yanked her hair.
It’s not just you, it’s me
While covering a story on domestic violence, I met a woman we’ll call Camilla.
She’d met a guy online and moved across the country to be with him only to find out two months later that he was crazy and addicted to cocaine. Their seven-year relationship ended when he was murdered. Some guy shot him over a gambling dispute.
“Even after he was gone, I found it hard to forgive him for the things he’d done to me,” Camilla said. “Then I realized that I played a role in it all as well.”
I was puzzled by her words. Did she blame herself for being a victim of abuse?
“He wasn’t the first guy who’d ever hit me,” she continued. “I grew up in an abusive environment. I thought that kind of thing was normal, and maybe that’s why I attracted it into my life because that’s just the way I thought life had to be.”
She took a pause.
“Whether it’s being with a guy that cheats or beats on you or does whatever, if you are constantly being mistreated in a relationship then you have to look in the mirror,” she said.
“If every relationship you are in is a ‘bad’ one, then you have to realize that the common denominator is you. What are you doing that keeps putting you back in that same type of situation?
“It’s a cycle. Once I realized that, I felt empowered to do what I had to do to break it. Now, I’m free. I can recognize a no-good Negro a mile away. I trust my intuition and the first inclination I get that he’s up to no good, I’m out the door.”
“A guy will only do what a woman allows him to do,” says, Justin, a 24-year-old waiter. “The problem with a lot of these women who complain about how there are no good men out there is that they let guys treat them any kind of way. They like it.”
You think they purposely go out looking for men to treat them badly?
“Yes,” he said. He gave it some thought and changed his answer, slightly. “I’m not saying they go looking for it, but maybe some women do. What I’m saying is that if a guy makes a certain amount of money, a woman will let him treat her crazy. As long as he is paying the bills, he can sleep with other women. He can hit her. He can do whatever. He just got to make sure she living good.”
Suddenly, I’m disturbed by his assessment of women, but before I can challenge him his friend Maurice jumps in on the conversation.
“I think fathers make all of the difference,” he said. “A woman who didn’t grow up having a good relationship with her father typically doesn’t have good relationships with men period. It’s like Chris Rock says, if you want to keep your daughter out of the strip club, stand up and be a good father.”
The search for Mr. Right
I recently caught up with Tommy Nichols, a local filmmaker. He told me he is working on a DVD about relationships titled “The Revelation of the Brother.”
So I asked him to share his perspective on women who consistently find themselves in bad relationships and say they can’t find a good man. His solution was simple.
“If a woman wants to find a good man,” he says, “She should stop looking.”
Tommy believes that women were never supposed to take on the responsibility of finding, selecting and choosing a mate.
Like Camilla, he said the first thing a woman should do is take a step back and look at herself.
“She has to first become what she’s trying to attract,” he said. “She has to consider where she is emotionally, mentally and spiritually because if she has those pieces of her life together she will attract a real man. He will be attracted to the confidence she exudes and they way she carries herself.”
Tommy also thinks first dates should be group dates.
“Every woman should find at least one brother who she doesn’t like in a romantic way and isn’t trying to sleep with her,” he says. “When she goes out with a guy, he should come along and bring a date. That way you can see how he shares and interacts with other people. It also gives your male friend a chance to check out your new guy and vet him. It’s important because men know men, and women know women.”
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