Stephanie Hollman: I am Not the Ideal Housewife

Stephanie reveals what makes her different from other Real Housewives.

Wow, what a crazy year this has been. Thank you for sharing in our journey and supporting us along the way. I don't think you will ever know how truly grateful I am for the kindness and love that you have shared with me this season. My favorite thing about doing this show is literally you! I am constantly reminded of the wonderful blessings you provide me as I read all of your comments, encouraging emails, and light-hearted DM’s.  
I may be the first Housewife in the history of this franchise that can honestly say that I found myself in the midst of the chaos of reality TV!  In between Season 2 and 3, I realized that I lost myself in this process, and the girl I saw on the screen did not match the girl I saw in the mirror. I am not the ideal cookie cutter Housewife for this franchise. Initially, I felt very insecure, but I came out on the other side feeling very empowered. 

This is the first year that I gave myself permission to be fully authentic and honest about who I really am.  I removed the mask that I have been wearing the past two years, maybe even all my life. 

Why try to fit into a mold that was never created for you? I entered into a situation where it was almost like I was in high school trying to fit into the cool girl group instead of being true to my convictions. That’s not who I am. I felt the internal pressure that I was putting on myself to act a certain way because of the "Housewife" title.  I truly believed that you, the audience, would only love and accept me if I fit into what I thought a "Housewife" should be. The fact is I am never going to brag about how much money we have. I don't have the edge or sex appeal of Erika Jayne. My closet will never be as organized Heather Dubrow’s. I don't have the quick wit or confidence of the New York girls. But I don’t have to. I am just me. 

In the past, I have been judge and jury to these women. By pointing out their flaws and issues, it made me feel less crazy about my own. But that’s not who I am, nor the kind of role model that I want to be for my children. I feel like I have always been told that being kind and sensitive were my weakness. They made me fragile.  However, what I learned is that those are my strengths and what makes me special. I found that in life one finds what one seeks. If one seeks to find all of the bad in people, then that is what is found. But when one looks for the good in people, then the world changes to the good because their perception is different. 

Emotionally, I cannot go back to where I was these past two years. I was sucked into the negative. It became my life and was very unhealthy for me. This year, I went with a different approach. I wanted to be more open and honest about MY struggles and MY demons. I was scared. I cried the entire week leading up to the episode where I discussed my suicide attempt with LeeAnne. I thought maybe I had made the wrong decision. I was mad at myself for even bringing it up, and I didn’t want to be further judged by Twitter trolls for my past like everyone else on reality TV. I spent that week crying tears of shame. I’m pleased to report that those tears of shame quickly turned into tears of gratitude as so many of you shared your story with me. I received so many direct messages, emails, and even a few warm embraces from strangers on the street that shared their story with me. There is one message that I received that I will never forget. A mother of three messaged me the next day after that episode aired, and she shared with me that she had written a suicide note to kill herself that night after her husband left her for another woman. She watched our episode and decided not to go through with it, because she realized that she wasn’t alone and things will get better. It was in that moment that I realized my purpose for being on this show and how powerful this platform can be. For that, I am eternally grateful and humbled.  
I have always felt that I had to be perfect to be loved. What I’ve learned is that I find the most love and connection through sharing my struggles and imperfections. This is a very freeing feeling. 

Thank you for loving me through times when I didn’t love myself. My one take away from this season has been this- if you’re struggling with something, share it, because someone around you is going through or has gone through a similar situation whether that be mom guilt, depression, or addiction. 
Sending you all a lot of love, hugs and wishing you a wonderful holiday season!
Until next time,
Steph

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Stephanie Hollman

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