So here we are, almost at the end of Season 3. I have to admit, I had no idea what lay ahead when I started this amazing journey. I want to say that it has been wonderful to connect with so many terrific viewers, and I appreciate your concern and support for my family.
I'd like to start by addressing some of the questions and issues that have come up during the season and at the first part of the reunion.
Fact: I did not sign on to this show to hurt or bash my cousin, or anyone else for that matter. It is not in my nature. I think it is pretty plain to see in the way I raise my children. They are a product of the type of life that Rich and I live.
Having said that, I will admit that there have been things that I said that were in fact hurtful to Teresa, and for that I'm sorry. Things were said out of anger or frustration. We all have those moments with family members when we don't see eye to eye and we say things based strictly on emotion, often without thinking it through. Keep in mind this is reality TV where nothing is rehearsed or planned. We are not actors or actresses playing a role. We are everyday people with lives and families just like you. We live each day and try to figure it all out as we go along.
Fact: I did not go behind Teresa's back to join the show. When we were approached we planned to have Teresa and Joe over to our house to talk to them about it. With the busy lives that we all have we didn't get the chance to do that. At that time we were not in touch on a regular basis and our dialogue was mostly through texts. As I've said before, I don't like having important conversations over the phone.
Fact: When Teresa found out that they were interested in me, she totally flipped out. I was shocked that she would react like this. What did I do? Fact: The decision to join the cast did not come easily for my husband and me. We deliberated long and hard and then we talked to our kids. I knew the way Teresa would react, and I didn't want her negative interference to play a part in what was going to be right for me and my immediate family. I certainly didn't interfere with her decision process. I also didn't need her permission.
Fact: The christening was just my first day of filming with my family, and we did not know what to expect. What happened at the christening was completely shocking, devastating, and heartbreaking for all of us.
Fact: I approached Teresa at the fashion show as a concerned family member. I was trying to encourage reconciliation between my two first cousins.
Fact: I approached Teresa with a compliment and asked if we could talk in another room away from everyone else. I did not feel that this was in any way threatening. Yes, I could have called her. I could have made a visit to her house, but let's think about this for a minute. Teresa already had me pegged as the enemy. How do you think that she would have received a visit from me? We all have seen how Teresa reacts to someone trying to reason with her. She is always dismissive and defensive.Fact: I have had a lifelong relationship with Teresa, and I know her very well. There are so many things that go on behind the scenes that the cameras are not catching and the viewers don't know about.
Fact: I was crucified ALL season by Teresa for trying to reconcile my cousins just as Jacqueline and Caroline did. Teresa humiliated and embarrassed me that night, and at that point I was angry. How dare she? This set the tone for the whole season. I continued to try to put things behind us. Teresa made that impossible by clearly indicating that she was not willing to forgive me. This was very upsetting to me, because it didn't have to go that way. I couldn't figure out why she would act this way towards me.
Fact: I was always a friend as well as Teresa's cousin. I always tried to see her side of things. Whenever I would disagree and try to make her understand a different point of view, things didn't go so well. I continued to stick up for her and see the best in her. Unfortunately after time passed, I began to see what everyone else was talking about, and I could no longer come to her defense and maintain my own integrity. I started hearing so many things that Teresa and Joe were saying behind my back about me and my husband.
Fact: Richie and I tried many times to settle these issues before we signed on to do the show.
So now viewers, you know some of the facts truthfully set forth. At this point I would like to shed some light on my feelings.
Yes, it has been hard to watch at times. Seeing yourself react isn't easy (keyword here being react, not act as a result of being mistreated). I have already admitted that my emotions sometimes got the best of me and I said things out of anger.
One that comes to mind in particular is the comment I made about Teresa's intelligence. It was meant as a joke, but unfortunately there was too much sarcasm and quite frankly, too much bite. But can you blame me? I had just hosted a beautiful evening at my home in hopes of having everyone come together and sample some of my ideas for a possible catering business. I didn't know how the other women would react to my home, my cooking, or me for that matter. At that point we were still trying to get to know one another. It was appropriately named "goddess" night, because I wanted to recognize each one of us for our best qualities. It was a wonderful opportunity to share that with one another instead of tearing each other apart with catty comments.
As everyone was complimenting me on my food and the evening, Teresa verbally decides for all to hear that she would have done things differently. OK, we get it Teresa. But the whole point of "goddess" night was to embrace our own inner goddess and not try to be like everyone else. By making negative comments about the evening and insulting my food by displaying childish facial expressions, it was clear that Teresa was out to sabotage the whole experience. She even made fun of the theme and the belly dancer. For someone who constantly talks about family, that wasn't very family-like, now was it? Clearly she showed how cruel and petty she can be. This evening was about something that I was trying to do, and it seems that if Teresa is not the center of attention, she will find some way to make that so. Was I angry? Certainly I was, so what was meant as a joke wasn't delivered that way. I would hope everyone can understand.
There is one other thing that I need to clear up about Part 1 of the reunion. I know it looked silly of me when Teresa said I was half-Gorga and I said, "No, I'm not." Duh! Of course I am. Yes, my mother is a Gorga, and make no mistake, I love the Gorga side of my family dearly, those living in the U.S. and those that live overseas. In fact Rich and I miss visiting with my uncle terribly. I've always loved him very much. However, there are reasons why I tend to forget that my mother is a Gorga, none of which have to do anything at all with Teresa or my Gorga relatives. I do wish I could share that with you, but unfortunately I can't at this time. You will just have to tune in to Season 4 as my family story unfolds and you will see why I instinctively said, "No I'm not."
As we head into Part 2 of the reunion, our family still struggles to try to make it right. As you must know by now, I am the eternal optimist. I continue to hold out for reconciliation and will forever believe that everyone is capable of change and forgiveness.
To be continued...
Lots of Love,