Yolanda: I Have a Problem With Lisa as a Victim
Yolanda laments Lisa's inability to address the situation, and asserts that she's not jealous of anything of Lisa's, minus her health.
Helloooooo Bravo lovers! As we have come to the end of our journey, I would like to thank you for the support of our show. I hope you will continue to tune in to see the reunion where we all get to share our thoughts and feelings in the hope to get some resolutions in order to move on.
I always welcome your thoughts, feelings, and feedback because I appreciate that you care about the show enough to actively engage with the cast about it. I realize, too, that your view of the show is informed by only seeing the finished episodes. This means that you don't see or even know about events that aren't shown, let alone all of the exchanges and interactions that take place beyond when we are around each other. I'm not complaining; we all know that it's is necessary in making a show. But naturally, it can be difficult for you to understand, and for me to explain the complete context and story of what has happened. This is especially true now.
I've always enjoyed this blog because I see it as a chance to share my perception of the journey I've taken with these women. Criticism -- from the other women or from the audience -- isn't necessarily fun to take, but I always take note, see it in an objective way and respect everyone’s opinion. Nobody likes to be judged, including me, but I am the first to say that I am far from perfect. In certain situations I might not look great. But signing up to do this means making myself vulnerable, showing myself at something less than my best sometimes, and not being in control of the story that's ultimately told.
I can sleep fine at night knowing that even though my honesty might not translate very diplomatically, the words I speak have good intent and I live my life with great integrity.
So, again: I might not like (or agree with) some of the harsh words of the other women on the show, or the pointed feedback from the audience, but I respect the right for others to express their opinions about me and my behavior.
All of this -- the hope for an open dialogue -- helps explain somewhat the core of the group’s frustration with Lisa. I care about Lisa, and I want the best for her. But by not letting me even have a conversation with her about some of my disappointment with her for not being the friend that I thought she would be, and by not listening to others who had their own issues to discuss with her, she turned an opportunity for friendship to grow and thrive into a much bigger issue.
I'm not speaking about what some audience members think was "ganging up" on Lisa. I'm telling you my own personal truth: I simply wanted to have a heart-to-heart conversation with a friend who wouldn't even validate my feelings. And others had the same experience with her. And now, our friendship has suffered for it.
My only issue with Lisa -- and again, I can't stress enough that I only wished the other women could take on their issues on their own -- was that she didn't actively participate in our friendship. I have been in and out of nine different hospitals and clinics in the past year-and-a-half, trying to find a cure for a disease that's been incredibly debilitating.
Look, I understand that my sensitivity is heightened while I've been sitting on the sideline feeling inadequate because I'm not at my best. But Lisa knows, and supposedly accepted this. And yet, she only visited me once while I was bedridden for nine months. She showed up in the middle of the day to see David get his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but yet didn't bother to come to see me be sworn in as a U.S. citizen, a major life moment for me.
I don't expect the world from her, but I would hope she would care enough to listen to me when I want to discuss our friendship. I believed our friendship to be more substantial, but unfortunately, in trying to sweep my feelings under the rug, I realized she's a different kind of friend. . .a Hollywood friend. This doesn't make her any less fabulous or fun; it just changes our relationship.
Unfortunately, you did not get to see the one-on-one conversation we had before we entered the restaurant in Puerto Rico. Lisa clearly understood my feelings, and said she was overwhelmed with too big of a workload and too little time left for friendships and family. She promised to make a greater effort in the future. Alas, the future ended right there and then, as she decided after the dinner that we were ganging up against her as a group rather then individuals with separate and specific issues that at least should be heard out of respect.
I understand that even if the issues are separate (and in most cases, addressable), she had a hard time dealing with them at once. I do have a problem, though, that as of today, she has chosen to escalate the issues by portraying herself as the victim of a bunch of women that are supposedly jealous of her.
With absolute respect for who Lisa is and the life she's created for herself, I can say that there's nothing Lisa has or is that I'm jealous of, except for maybe her health. I don't mean this to be arrogant and dismissive. In fact, just the opposite. I'm not in competition with Lisa (or anyone) -- but the claim that we're jealous of her gives an insight into her mindset. I'm just trying to live the best version I can of my life.
And right now, however annoying I feel for writing this and seeming like I'm playing the victim, my life is defined by trying to improve my health. Belittling my disease and trying to convince people that I am using my struggles as a excuse for my behavior is shameless and despicable.
Imagine my frustration that Lisa didn't see fit -- as a supposedly close friend -- to hear me out that I felt that she wasn't there for me during my struggle, and now is perpetuating the idea that I'm using my illness as an excuse. Lisa's lack of empathy for my daily battle is very sad, and I can only hope that she or her loved ones will never be struck with the nightmare of living with a chronic disease.
Even though I struggle with severe diminished brain function, I take 100 percent responsibility for every word that comes out of my mouth and gladly admit to my mistakes. Again, I'm far from perfect, but I do listen and learn. It would be nice if Lisa could too.
Part of my hope in continuing with the show is to have the platform to bring awareness to this debilitating disease and encourage the hundreds of thousands of people around the world to keep fighting until we can find a cure for Lyme disease. Trust me, opening a business or selling products would be a much more fun and glamorous way to use my visibility. But I'm gratified that at least in some small part, I'm helping to shine a light on a disease that a lot of people know, few understand, and sadly too many have.The one thing I have always appreciated about being a part of RHOBH is that regardless of our differences, we are all strong and independent woman. Sometimes it would be easier if we were wallflowers! All seven of us woman share part of our lives with the world in the hopes that we not only entertain you but that we share something that you can relate to. No matter how different we may be, we are all woman who are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters -- just like you, the audience.
(And: when I tell you the reunion covers a lot of ground in a satisfying way, I'm not just plugging it. If you're invested in this season, please stick around to see us discuss what happened and attempt to forge a path to move forward.)
On to the final party. I was frustrated because I had, in fact, reached out to Lisa when she "left" Puerto Rico (though she had tweeted about her lovely stay at another hotel on the island, so at least she was safe), and she hadn't responded. Whatever you think about what went down in Puerto Rico (and again, there was more than television can contain), I was frustrated that Lisa was busy enough playing the victim that we couldn't move forward.
Still, though, I was determined to put things past us heading into the final party. Friendship is ultimately strengthened by the incidents that test it, so I thought Lisa and I could have a quick conversation, and based on the positive conversation we had in front of the restaurant in Puerto Rico, have a hug and be done with the nonsense. So then imagine my surprise when Lisa really wouldn't talk to me, and instead Ken treated me with what amounted to hostility.
You don't have to like me or agree with what I am saying but I will never let someone minimize me, suppress me or intimidate me -- no matter who you are, and no matter my diminished condition. I have never in my life let a man disrespect me, verbally or physically, and that will never change. I feel very strongly about this because it's something my mother instilled in me and that I have instilled in my daughters. A man should never minimize or suppress a woman's opinion by talking over her, calling her stupid, or grabbing her in any way, shape, or form to dominate or control any situation. That behavior is disrespectful and unacceptable.
Once again, a three-minute glimpse doesn't tell anywhere near the whole story. And let me be completely clear: I'm not claiming Ken was physically abusive. I'm stating that he was very rude in intimidating me in a rude, unnecessary way that shouldn't be tolerated. I can understand if he wanted to help his wife navigate a difficult situation (even though he helped create this situation back in Puerto Rico); but he was less than a gentleman, and I can assure you that he and Lisa wouldn't accept (nor should they) anyone else doing this to her. No matter how annoyed Ken was with me, I was shocked about his behavior and it saddens me that Lisa would allow her husband to treat another woman that way. It saddened me that someone who supposedly loves my children and is a family friend would not pick up the phone the next day and apologize for her husband's behavior.
Again, at a certain point, at least my feelings need to be acknowledged. What makes it even worse is that Lisa then would minimize her husband's behavior by making it seem like I was making a big deal out of nothing -- once again to discredit someone (a friend) who was upset. I guess the truth hurts, and denial is how some people chose to live their lives. True friendships cannot possibly survive every disagreement with a simple "Oh please, just let it go."
I am happy to share with you that my husband and I are great and still going strong after eight years of a beautiful love story. Yes, we are selling our home, not because we are getting a divorce, but rather due to the fact that my health does not allow me to waste energy on running a big home. I need to stay focused on my recovery. Yes, I know you are sick and tired of hearing about my chronic illness, but by the way -- SO AM I!
As you know my daughter Gigi has moved to New York, and my baby girl Bella was accepted to a college in New York as well, so our nest will be down to one child pretty soon. As a mother, I'm extremely proud and surprised at how quickly time has passed. To you mommies out there, enjoy every minute you have with your children -- because they will be spreading their wings before you know it.
It's been a challenging year for all seven of us, and judging by your comments, it seems like it has been for all of you viewers as well. Thank for you for watching and caring. In a strange way, we're on this journey together. . .and for as grateful as I am for a life I truly appreciate (and as comfortable as I am with my integrity), I value having you along for a bit of the ride, too.
So long for now.