Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Make It Work

Jacqueline opens up about her ongoing struggle with Ashley.

We're baaack, and I'm back to blogging! Yahoo! You know my first blog is usually the longest, because it's been a while and I always have a lot to say. Did you miss us? How do you like our newest cast members so far? You still have a lot to learn about them and more will be revealed to you as the season goes on. Welcome, newbies! Welcome to our crazy world! Enjoy the ride.

Teresa has been working very hard to help provide for her family. She's had an incredibly tough year, but she somehow manages to keeps her head held up high, take care of her family, and stand strong by her man. You have to respect her for that. I admire her energy and her strength. Teresa also keeps looking better and better. Her body is rockin' this year! Four kids... Really? I want your trainer!

Caroline is entering a new stage in her life as each of her kids leave the nest. All of her kids are going through new challenging stages in their lives as well. It's time for all of them to find out who they are as individuals, make new lives for themselves, and adjust to these new changes. Entering new waters can bring unexpected waves. I'm proud of all of them for taking that leap and working hard toward their goals. Let's see how they learn to cope with the new changes, challenges, and obstacles in their lives as a family. It always makes me cry when I see Caroline crying. I know how much she loves and adores her kids, and I know how much they love and adore her. It's normal for family members to evolve and change at different stages of their life, but the family bond should remain strong. Let's see what happens. And wait until you see Caroline's style this year. She looks amazing all around!

Melissa is Teresa's sassy, sexy sister-in-law who is married to Teresa's only brother, Joey. I'm sensing a little tension there between her and Teresa. How about you? I'm sure the back story will all play out on the show. Buckle up for that one. It seems that Melissa's husband works hard to provide for his family outside their home, and Melissa's job is to provide for the family inside their home. Stereotypical old school Italian household. Sound familiar? It does to me. Their three kids are adorable. Three kids with that body? Not fair! Her husband Joey is going to be fun to watch. Trust me! It was thoughtful of him to offer to apply lotion to Melissa's butt cheeks. What a guy. LOL! You can tell he is crazy about his wife. (Or is he just plain crazy?) Sometimes there's always more to a story. Watch and you decide for yourself as you get to know them and as their history unfolds.  

Kathy, if you don't already know, is Teresa's cousin. So far it seems as though they have a loving family and cute kids. Her whole scene got me giggling. "Why can't you collect stamps?" And then that bike ride to the store followed by the speechless guy watching her talk passionately about vegetables. After all she tells us, "What you put into your mouth is so important!" Cut to the next scene showing her enjoying some mozzerella balls. Her husband Richie seems comical too, "Am I hot for Kathy? Sizzlin' sizzlin'." Too cute! But can we all get along? Watch what happens!  Welcome to the show.

Well as you can see, you are in for one entertaining season full of real, raw, family emotions and conflicts. I guarantee during this season you will go through every possible emotion! You will get angry, frustrated, disgusted, surprised, sad, and even laugh. There's no doubt you will relate to at least one thing that you or someone in your family has gone through. It's about growing pains and family dynamics. I think this was a hard season for all of us. We really put it all out there this year for you. For us, it helps us to grow as people. It forces us to look at ourselves and hopefully gives us a greater awareness and understanding of what the others that we are in conflict with are feeling. I'm hoping this can help us gain a better understanding of one another and help us to somehow resolve our differences and get past the hurt.

This season Ashley and I are still at odds with each other at times, despite our unconditional love for each other. That mother/daughter relationship between us is always a work in progress. I'm trying my best to get on track with her and would love for us to have a deeper understanding of each other, but I have to be honest...it is very challenging. I think I'm learning a lot about my delivery when trying to get my point across to Ashley. I speak mostly out of frustration for never taking my advice when I try to guide her. It's hurtful, because I feel that it's because she doesn't respect me enough as a person or believe enough in me or my past experiences. She doesn't think that I could possibly know what I'm talking about or that I could possibly make a difference in her life if she would only listen to what I have to say and follow my advice. You always want to be a hero in your child's eyes, someone they look up to, and I guess a part of me feels that she doesn't think of me like that. I'm more of an annoyance to her. Maybe it's the age. What you're seeing in this first episode is my daughter wanting her independence (an apartment in the city) while at the same time being a little naive as to the reality of what it takes to survive in the real world (especially since she has no job, no money, and lots of expenses and bills to pay). I was trying to explain to Ashley that if she wants it bad enough, she has the power to make it happen. I know how intelligent my daughter is and what she is capable of, but she has to put forth the effort to get there. It's not just going to be handed to her. I was trying to explain to her that if I could do it with a baby at her age, then she could do it on her own too. I worked hard for what I had, and there is no reason Ashley is not capable of providing for herself. 

Upon my first introduction to Ashley's new boss, Lizzie Grubman, I was told that not only was my daughter not getting paid to work for her, but that she barely showed up and when she did and was rarely on time. I was slightly surprised and irritated by that, so when Ashley said that the commute to work was too annoying and costly and that an apartment in the city would be her solution, I think I reacted to that by speaking in a condescending tone to Ashley. What I was trying to say to her was that if an apartment in the city is what you want and it's independence you desire, then get off your a-- and do what you have to do to reach your goal. Stop trying to rely on other people to get you there! Make it work by going to work! Maybe my delivery was lacking, but I had good intentions behind my words. My patience had been wearing thin with her, which I think you may have noticed. I know the path that she needs to take, and I'm pointing the way for her to go, but she doesn't trust me enough to follow it and keeps getting lost. It hurts me. I'm tired of speaking and never being respected, apreciated, or heard. I only want the best for her. I love her. This is my struggle.

When you've been hurt by family, the wounds cut deeper and emotions run higher. The conflicts not only affect two people, but the entire family suffers and can become divided. The parents hurt, the children hurt, and nobody wins. It's a ripple effect.

I could comment on the events that took place at the christening, but because it's such a sensitive subject to the families involved, I feel like I should hold back for now and let the others share their thoughts. It broke my heart to see that. A baby's christening was ruined, and that is something that can never be taken back. I can't imagine what that would feel like. It was painful to watch. I cried. The only thing they can do from here is try to move forward and mend the broken fences. That is going to take some time. You will watch their struggle this season. 

But before you start judging too harshly, I feel that every family goes through their challenges as people in the family grow through their different stages in life. Different personalities conflict with one another especially when new blood comes into a family. Relatives can be challenging at times, but family is family and you can't change that, so you might as well learn to deal with them. You can only try your best to keep the peace, learn to be cordial when you need to be, and be respectful to each other regardless of your differences. It's about learning how to communicate with each other, and I've learned that your delivery is everything. It's always a work in progress. We are put on this earth to learn from each other and to help one another. Life is about learning and growing. Bad experiences are going to happen to us all, but it's important to learn how to overcome those obstacles and challenges in life. Communicate and be open to seeing views from another person's perspective instead of only considering your own. Try to understand where the other person is coming from. Admit to your own mistakes or wrong doings. Try to resolve the conflict instead of adding fuel to the fire, and learn how to forgive and move forward and stop regurgitating the past. Sounds logical right? Easier said then done when egos are involved or when negative people on the sidelines keep planting seeds in your head to keep the fire burning.

There was something that I said in this episode that just sounded awful to me when I saw it played back, and I would like to take it back. When I was at Caroline's dinner, I said that things between Teresa and Melissa changed when Melissa "landed" Teresa's brother, Joe. "Landed" was such a bad choice of words. I apologize to Melissa if that offended her. "Landed" just sounded so harsh. It made me cringe when I heard it. I would like to change that word to "married." Thank you. 

With all that said, I hope you continue to watch this season. I feel it's our best season yet! It's not just because of the drama, but because I feel it's going to be relatable to so many people in so many different ways. We might not all handle certain situations the same way, but we all go through heartache in one form or another, and it's about how we all deal with it and learn to get past it (until we get hit with something else). 

Follow me on Twitter @Jaclaurita or on my new website that I should have up soon www.JacquelineLaurita.com. I have three Facebook accounts that I'm hardly ever on, but I'm trying to figure out how to convert that into a fan page so I can add more people that have been requesting me and be more attentive. I appreciate your love, support, and advice. Talk to me like a friend. I'm a good listener. :0) 

Take care, God Bless! 

XOXO,

Jacqueline