We're baaack! My first blog of the season is usually a long one, so get ready. I also want to try to take myself back in time and explain to you, being completely open and honest, my thought process during each episode that led to the painful end of my friendship with Teresa. I want you to understand where I think it took a turn for the worst. I realize that if I talk about this that there will be some of you that say, "Get over it already!" But if I don't talk about it, a lot of you will be left wondering what happened. I like to vent anyway, it's healthy for me, and so I'm going to talk about it to share my thoughts with you. After all, you are a fan of the show if you are taking the time to read and comment on these blogs, so I feel like you deserve an explanation. Just know that I am in a much better place now.
I know a lot of you want answers as to why I didn't attend the Season 3 reunion, which aired a little over two weeks after it was filmed. Some of you know that I was tweeting while it was airing, and I honestly couldn't believe what I was seeing and hearing. Once again, keep in mind it aired over two weeks after it was filmed. I don't regret at all not being there. I do regret for disappointing our fans and the stress I put on Bravo by not attending. For that, I am sorry. I appreciate how most of you respected my choice not to go, however there are still some of you that were left very confused and disappointed. I wish I could tell you all of the reasons right here and now, but I need for some of it to play out on this season. The rest will be explained during the Season 4 reunion. Yes, I WILL attend the Season 4 reunion!
It was too difficult for me to go to the Season 3 reunion, because I was very drained emotionally and overtired from crying all night out of frustration and sadness. It would have been very difficult to look at Teresa and not be able to express what I was actually feeling. Even if I had attended, none of your questions would have been answered. As you should know, we were filming Season 4 as Season 3 was airing, and I could not have discussed anything that was going on in my head or anything that we had been filming. My animosity would have been unexplainable. As you remember, Teresa and I were fine in Season 3. I can't even say that the entire reason I didn't attend was because of Teresa. There were other factors involved in my decision, but my disappointment with her was a big one. I was just tired, fed up, angry, stressed out, depressed, and as it turned out extremely low on testosterone to top it off. LOL! I WILL tell you that the one emotion I was NOT feeling was fear. I don't get intimidated expressing my feelings to anyone. I'm never afraid to face anyone. If you look back on past episodes, you will notice that I am the one always confronting the person to their face on whatever dilemma was going on. I have kept it real and stayed true to myself. I don't fear confrontation, and there is nothing about my life that I won't talk openly about. I'm human like everyone else, and I'm OK not being perfect. I do hesitate when it comes to discussing someone else's life, but it honestly depends on the circumstance or how pissed off I am at the person. I consider myself a very open and honest person with integrity. So for those of you who thought I was too scared or intimidated to show up to the reunion, you were absolutely 100% wrong. The truth is, I had a breakdown. Why? That story will eventually be told.
Please keep in mind that I go through ALL the same emotions that you all do. Mine are just caught on camera and replayed for all to see. I actually feel like it's a blessing in disguise. I've learned a lot from watching myself and others on the show. I feel that by watching and each other, we learn some valuable lessons. It has also brought my daughter, Ashlee, and I closer together. We are in a good place now. So now you have met my life coach and friend, Jack. He's great! I started seeing him with Ashlee when she was in high school to help us both get through those difficult years. I stayed with him long after Ashlee did. He is my venting board. He often gives me advice. He also sells me all natural, holistic dog food and treats that he delivers right to my door. My dog, Santino, loves it! (Shameless plug www.sierrajack.com) Check it out!
I have to say that I was very proud Ashlee knew enough to call me when she was in a bad situation, like being stuck in the city because she wouldn't get into the car with others who were drinking and that she was honest enough to tell me and reach out for help if she had been drinking herself. I just didn't like that she was being put in that position, therefore putting us in the position to pick her up or pay for a car service more often than necessary. I felt like she needed to re-evaluate her lifestyle choices.
What you are seeing in this first episode is my breaking point as well as a turning point with Ashlee. Asking her to leave didn't mean we didn't love her. Chris and I love her very much. At that point in time, although we weren't fighting as much, we didn't see her making much of an effort to jump-start her life. We needed her to spring into action and take charge of her life. We felt like we needed to take drastic measures to get her to wake up and go after her dreams. We know that Ashlee is beautiful, intelligent, and talented and had so much more to offer in life than she was giving. It was time to cut the bungee cord from my baby bird that was attached to my nest. I needed her to want to fly. It was time. I was pushing her out of the nest with faith that she would fly.The plan we had for Ashlee wasn't as non-directional as it played out on this episode. We had a more structured plan for her. Part one of the plan was to give her an ultimatum to either move out immediately or go stay with my brother, Tommy, and his wife, Mary, where they would put her on lock down without a car. She would stay in Las Vegas for a couple of weeks.
If she decided to go to Las Vegas, part two of the plan was for Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary to teach her a few working and life skills as well as computer graphic design skills that could help start her on the right track and get her to want to learn even more. It would motivate her to work. I was hoping she would make some short and long term goals for herself. I needed to get her away from the distractions she had while living in New Jersey. Besides all of that, I figured she would listen to them more willingly than to us, and quite frankly, we all needed a break from each other.
Part three of the plan was for her dad, Matt, to surprise her in Las Vegas, pick her up, and bring her to “Daddy Boot Camp” in Texas. He would get her to work for the summer and pay for her to go to school. He would be strict with her and try to break her down to rebuild her and get her to change some of her ways. We all just wanted to get her self-motivated to want more out of life and to take some initiative to make things happen for herself. She would not be able to come back home to New Jersey without either getting a full time job or enrolling in school full time or doing both part time. Watch what happens...I understood why Caroline chose not to confront Teresa about her cookbook. She understands how Teresa operates. Teresa hardly ever admits she's wrong, and if she can't convince you to feel the same way she does about something, she will start blame shifting to try to put YOU in the wrong instead of her. I tend to overlook behavior like that just to be able to keep the peace and move forward. By confronting the person, I feel content just knowing that the person is aware their actions weren't left unnoticed by me. I let it slide. I give people a pass. I understand that we all make mistakes sometimes. Caroline, however, was seeing a pattern of Teresa's and wasn't as tolerant and forgiving this time around, but she still felt that there was no need to fight with her about it. Caroline had Teresa's number. Note to herself...DONE!
I had advised Teresa to at least acknowledge how the words in her book may have affected the others. I suggested that maybe she should apologize for making them feel the way they did. I did find it was odd that the book was proofread and printed at a time when their family had supposedly mended their relationships and agreed to be sincerely trying to move forward with a fresh start.
We saw Teresa lying to Caroline's face when the book was highlighted to show what she really said in her book. Then she tried to turn it around, blame shifting, as if she was insulted that Caroline would even think that she would write anything on purpose to insult her. Typical behavior pattern of hers. I also thought it was strange that she made Caroline feel how fast her heart was racing as proof that she cares. It's common sense that when someone is nervous about something, their heart beats faster. That proved nothing. Perhaps her heart was beating faster from guilt.My honest opinion about Teresa's book was that even if the comments were meant to be tongue in cheek, which is possible, there should have been a warning before it was printed. That was not cool to do to a friend, not to mention your family who you just made amends with. Teresa has openly said many times over how much we have been there for her when things in her life got tough, even when many others turned their back on her. We were all still there for her, even when we knew she had done some things wrong. We still had her back and remained friends. I was a supportive friend to Teresa, because I loved her despite her faults.
I did find it odd that the only friends and family mentioned in the book were those who Teresa has made clear to me she had a problem with. I think the insults directed at Caroline for being one-sixteenth Italian (which is not true at all) and her “authentic” meatball comments were to discredit Caroline as an Italian cook for two reasons. First, because she lost a meatball tasting contest to Caroline on the Rachael Ray show which annoyed her. Also there had been talk since day one of Caroline and our family doing a family cookbook, and in my opinion Teresa was trying to plant a seed in the readers mind. Teresa actually used a similar concept for her book, and I didn't mind at all. I was happy it worked for her. If our family did it we would use different pictures and our own family stories. I always supported Teresa on anything she ventured into, and when she got to work and actually did what my family had only talked about, I thought, "Good for her." And I was very proud of her. I think the problem was that Teresa wanted to be the ONLY authentic Italian cook, and she wanted to make sure that she kept that title.
When Teresa came over for dinner and asked Caroline if she was making the corn spicy and Caroline said yes, she then commented, "I hate them so hot!" I believe that was to let the viewers think that Caroline's method of cooking wasn't favorable. It kind of reminded me of the ugly faces she made last season while she tasted Kathy's delicious food at her goddess party. She was planting a seed in the viewers’ minds then too. Teresa calls her book a family cookbook, yet she never even attempted to include any other family members in it. If the recipes were passed down from generation to generation, I'm sure other family members use the same recipes as well, but if I know Teresa, she probably wouldn't allow anyone else to claim them but her.Although the Lauritas are 100% Italian and not one-sixteenth as stated in Teresa's cookbook, I DID NOT feel that the comments in her book insulting my husband's family heritage or implying that she would never be the kind of mother that would condone a stripper carwash were enough for me to end my friendship with her. I gave her a pass.
Hormones can really mess with you. Menopause is both mentally and physically tough to go through. I was glad to see Caroline taking control of her body and going for the bio-identical treatments as opposed to those synthetic hormones that are out there. Excuse me, but the Doctor told her she was getting “old.” Shouldn't he have used the word “older” instead? 50 is not old! Is it? It's all perception, I guess.
Right after the Season 3 reunion I went to www.AdvancedHormoneSolutions.com who also do the bio-identical hormone solutions to check my own hormone levels. I had not been feeling right. I was feeling exhausted, depressed, and was having some mood swings. Although I figured it was just stress, something told me to just go. Thank god that I did, because I found out that I had extremely low testosterone. It was at a level 9 when it should have been between 80-150. Caroline does the creams and I do a pellet the size of a tic tac that is inserted in my hip. I get a new one every four months or so. Best thing I ever did. I feel great! More energy, clearer thinking, better level of moods and increased sex drive (as if I needed that). LOL!Milania really entertains me. I miss her. Wasn't that so adorable when she tried to pump up her dad by saying, “WOW, dad, HOLY...look how STRONG you are! You're like a dragon!” I love her! XOXO! As comical as she is, at times it's so painfully obvious to me that she is craving attention. She reminds me a little of my younger Ashlee back when I was working all the time. She was always getting into something. I eventually learned to take time out of my busy schedule once in a while to spend quality time with my children. The attention seeking gets worse as they grow older and can become very self-destructive. It's easy to get caught up in every day busy life, especially with the stress of today's world, but I try to remind myself often that my children are only little once. I know they just crave some one-on-one time with me. They want my complete focus ONLY on them once in a while. I've learned to slow it down, turn off my phone, and just enjoy the simple things in life with the people I love the most and who love me back unconditionally. My kids need me, and I want to be there for them.
Sometimes as parents, and I am guilty of this, we forget that there are little ears around that pick up on more than we'd like or even realize. This could really affect a child's behavior causing them to act out because it is their way of coping with things that they don't completely understand but seem worrisome to them. There are some adult conversations that children should not be involved in, or even be around to hear. That is another mistake I made with Ashlee. She seemed so wise beyond her years that at times I didn't take into consideration how young she really was. There were times when the adults would be talking and Ashlee, who I didn't even realize was listening, would try to interject into a conversation that was totally inappropriate for her to even be contributing to, as if she was on the same level as the adults. I should have never allowed that to happen, because she started to become very disrespectful by always feeling free to give her opinion in adult conversations, even at inappropriate times. Kids should never be involved in adult issues. They need to feel loved and safe. They need to just enjoy being kids.
Teresa said she was worried about the articles out there affecting her children. She had to explain to her daughters that the stories weren't real and they shouldn't worry. She told them they're just family memories. I couldn't figure out why she would keep putting articles out there, posing and exposing her kids on these covers, knowing it was hurting her family. There are better portraits you can take for memories. It worried me a little. I didn't say anything to her about it.Richard Wakile is a big jokester but he also has a heart just as big. As I've said before, I get him. When he was listening to everyone get upset about Teresa, he took that opportunity to chime in and comically say, “I say we burn that bitch on a stake!” LOL! You have to understand his sarcastic sense of humor, because, trust me, he really does care about Teresa and Joe. Later on, you clearly see him telling Joey to consider how Teresa may be feeling and to always be there for her if Joe has to go away to jail. He is a ball buster, but he is a good guy that cares very much about his family. I love the way he is crazy about his sizzlin' wife. You can tell their love is real. I personally thought it was funny when it sounded like Kathy was talking dirty to Rich as he was sticking the personal lubricant down into the suitcase. “Stick it in deep. All the way down in there!” LOL! Oh and by the way, I LOVE Rosie, Kathy's sister. Don't you?
Joey Gorga teaching his son to use the toilet standing up and to give “it” the shake at the end was so adorable. What a great dad. He seems very... hands on. (Literally.) LOL! I have to give kudos to Melissa for not being the one to tell her husband about what it said in the cookbook and to be willing to give Teresa a pass for that. Not to mention that she was also willing to let go of the hurtful comment Teresa said to her husband about her leaving him for a richer man one day. That was out of line. I have to agree with Melissa when she said, “That's not something you say to a man about his wife. It's like playing with fire.” It's like she was planting a seed to make him feel insecure about her. Teresa always told me how insecure her brother was. Why add fuel to the fire? I couldn't understand what good she thought would come out of telling him that. If she heard a rumor, why didn't she just come out and tell him and Melissa what the rumor was or get the facts first instead of just planting a seed like that in his head. That wasn't fair to either Melissa or her brother. Didn't she just tell Melissa that she loved her and wanted to be a family again? I was confused, but knew it wasn't my business.
I'm not sure why Joey decided to tell Melissa what Teresa said, because that could have gone so much worse than it did. But then again, that IS his wife, and he was trying to figure out why Teresa would even say something like that to him. Some couples tell each other everything. They have open communication. If he had kept it to himself, that little seed Teresa planted in his head may have grown and his insecurities may have manifested in dangerous ways. He chose to discuss it with his wife. He obviously needed her feedback and reassurance that she would never hurt him like that. It made him feel better.Again, I have to agree with Melissa on this one when she said, "Whatever is going on in Teresa's home, she wants to project that into your home." I have seen her do that before. She has even done it to me. Think of the conversation Teresa had with her husband about the “cheating” rumors earlier in this episode. Can you see the deflection? Teresa knew she was wrong about saying that to him, I think that's why she told him in Italian not to bring it up. She didn't want anyone to know what she had said.
Even if she felt that way about Melissa, she was wrong for saying that. I think unless she had some details that she was willing to share with him about his wife, it was better not to say anything at all. She had hoped her brother would just have kept it between them. Maybe he should have, but that was his choice. I would have chosen to do the same thing with my spouse. It's better to talk about it and clear it up than to hold on to negative thoughts. I know Teresa felt like her brother shouldn't have told Melissa what she said, but if he hadn't, what did she expect him to do with that information? Sleep with one eye open? She should have thought it through more and only come to him if she had some facts. That's a tough one. What would you have done?
Teresa tried to make it look like her brother wasn't there for her while her husband went to jail for a week. However with Teresa if you ask how she is out of sincere concern, she considers it “prying into her business,” but if you don't ask, she thinks you’re “not being there for her.” There is no way to win. We ALL were genuinely concerned for Teresa, Joe, and their children. We just wanted to be there for them and help any way we could.Joe was trying to express to her that he WOULD be there for Teresa if she needed him and reminded her that when they asked for $25,000 one morning, Joey got it to her by that same evening. To me, that is being there in times of need. I noticed that instead of Teresa acknowledging and being appreciative of that kind gesture, her tone and mood immediately and completely changed as if she didn't want anyone else knowing that he ever did anything nice to try to help her. Yet she had no problem letting the world know that he had not been there for her. Why? That was the first I had ever heard of Joey helping out with the $25,000. I was made to believe he had not been there for her since Melissa came around. I think Teresa has a fear of Melissa and her brother outshining her and Joe. I believe everybody can shine.
I understood and I sympathized with Teresa on how she felt when her family joined the show. She had some ill feelings towards all of them, and she felt they came in on her thing and never asked for her opinion about it. It felt sneaky to her. She felt blindsided. I totally get that. I do think that it is possible they may have come on the show to have some of the same opportunities Teresa was given from doing the show, but then circumstances during filming unexpectedly opened up Pandora’s box.
As a friend and honorary family member of Teresa's at that time, and as someone who truly cared about her well being, I was getting increasingly concerned about her. I started to notice some odd behavior that was I hadn’t noticed before. Our friendship had always been so simple and fun. She never saw me as a threat like she did her family. I always let her shine. Maybe her family knew things about her that I didn't, and she felt a little threatened that secrets would be revealed. Totally understandable. She had a very hard time accepting the fact that they were on and there was nothing she could do about it. But it was what it was, and I felt like she needed to accept it at this point so she could be able to move forward.Teresa asked for my opinions about what to do. I kept it real and honest with her, as you saw last season. I don’t think she always liked or appreciated that. In my book, that is what a real friend does. In her book, you are considered disloyal if you don't agree with her or share the same opinions. If you want to be on Teresa’s “team,” you need to jump on her bandwagon and be her voice. She became increasingly annoyed with me when I didn't share the same opinions as her. I wanted her to respect me for the person I thought she knew I was, who liked to judge people for myself. It didn't mean that I didn't sympathize with how she felt. I always did. I would then ask her to try to see the point of view from the other side. She only wanted me to see her side and speak up on her behalf. I just didn't feel that it was my place within her family to be her voice, not to mention that they were also my new co-workers. Why should I start trouble for myself so she could just pretend all was fine? That wasn't fair to expect from me. It didn't mean that I didn't love Teresa. I honestly really just wanted to find a way that we could all work harmoniously together. I made it my mission. I wanted to help her find peace with her family so she didn't have to suffer with this anymore. I needed peace too. It hurt me that it was hurting her. My intentions were good.
As time went on, I started to see different sides to Teresa than the normal, easy-going girl I once thought I knew. On top of that, I saw her making some choices in her life that would ultimately affect her and her family in a negative way. I wanted her to snap out of it. I wanted her to keep her feet on the ground and to focus on what was truly important in this life. I wanted her to let go of her jealousy and resentment toward others. I wanted her to not worry about what anyone else has or is saying or doing. I told her to always do the right thing and leave the others in God's hands. I loved Teresa, and I just wanted to see my friend truly happy. I saw how unhappy she was and how competitive she was becoming and how hard she was scheming and working to stay on top while trying to bring others down. This is all while she was trying to convince everyone that her life was fine, but doing articles that said she was not. It was unhealthy, immature, and heartbreaking.
I felt like Teresa's family drama was dominating all my conversations with her. It was a little overwhelming at times, but I really wanted to help her to resolve this. She was my friend and I felt like she needed me. Let's just end it here this week, this is too dang long!LOL Words of the Week:
Gorgasm (GOR-gaz-um) - The releasing of a Gorga's poison.
Inpentego (IN-pen-TAY-go) - Impetigo, an infectious skin condition.
Thank you Bravo, Purveyors of Pop, Siren's Media, cast members, family, friends, and fans (who are also friends) for this whole experience! I love you all! See you next week! XOXO!
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