Sometimes in life you reach your breaking point, when you just can't deal with something anymore. I am sad to say that's what happened with me and my cousins.
This episode was upsetting to watch, but at the same time, I feel like I finally got closure on something that has been bothering me for a long time.
Some people have said I came across as "cold" at my meeting with Kathy and Rosie, but they don’t know the whole story. Those who know me well know that I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve like other people do. That's just the way I was raised.
People say they have been wondering why I have been able to make up with Joey and Melissa and even Jacqueline, but not Kathy and Rosie. There's a lot more that has happened over the years than what you have seen on TV. That's all I'm going to say. This is our family's business, not anyone else's.
Before I say anything more about Kathy and Rosie, I want to say how grateful I am to my brother and sister-in-law for being there for me and for sticking up for me at Richie and Kathy's house. THAT is what family is supposed to do for you: stand up for you and be there when times are tough, not tear you down and disappear when life isn't fun and games anymore. Seeing Joey stand up to Richie made me cry. This is how Joey and I always were. We always had each other's back and that night, he had mine. So did Melissa. She stood up to everyone when she said she wasn’t going to get in the middle of this nonsense. She also called what Richie seemed to imply about me and my husband's relationship a "dick thing to say," which is exactly what it was. Thank you, Melissa. Your being there for me means the world to me and I will always remember what you and Joey did for me.
So why am I so upset with Rosie and Kathy that I said I reached my breaking point with them? There's a lot to it, but here is what I will tell you: Yes, Richie has had something to do with this. Over the years, he has always managed to put me down, make jokes at my expense or say really cutting things about me. I talked about how mad I was that he threw my cookbook in the garbage years ago. I mean, who does that? I had it with Richie a long time ago, but have kept my mouth shut about him over the years because he is married to my cousin. But now, I've had enough.
For years, things with Kathy, Richie and Rosie were good, for the most part, until they came on the show behind my back, which I write about in my memoir, Turning the Tables: From Housewife to Inmate and Back Again. (On last week's episode they came to see me at one of my book signings without telling me they were going to be there, which took my by surprise, as you can probably tell by the look on my face…)
During the first two seasons I was on RHONJ, we talked about the show a lot. I was always telling them about what was going on with different ladies from the group. (Guess which ones?) So I was more than blown away when Andy –- not Kathy –- called me to tell me Kathy was coming on the show in the third season as a new Housewife. I couldn’t believe she kept it from me. I felt beyond betrayed.
Over the years, things got ugly between me, Rosie and Kathy, especially on the reunions. Yes, I said some things that were pretty harsh, and I am sorry for that. But when Kathy went after my parents the way she did, she crossed a line, a big line. If you know me, you know my parents mean everything to me. I love them so much and am very close to them. Even though Kathy apologized for what she said, it still stuck with me. I can't help it. I'm human.
But that wasn’t the end of it. For me, the next big blow that came from that side of the family started with Richie. Again. He never knows when to shut up. When Richie, Kathy, Rosie and their mother, my aunt, were talking about my legal troubles, Richie asked my aunt what she thought of it all. (Why would he do that?)
I have to say I am still hurt to this day by my aunt's answer. Instead of saying she supported me no matter what or something like that, she said, "I always told my children, you do something wrong, you always pay for it. You can never get away with it."
I'm sorry. That was like a punch in the gut. Was I furious? Yes. Enough said.
Here's the icing on the cake: When I went away, I didn’t hear a peep from Kathy, Richie or Rosie. Nothing. Not a card. Not a letter. Not a call to Joe asking how he and the girls were doing. Whatever. I had bigger things to deal with. As I have said, I was most concerned with my daughters, Joe and my parents while I was at camp.
(While I'm on a roll here, let me clear something else up. Some people have gotten on my case for calling the correctional facility where I served my time a camp. But that's what it was and that's how the inmates, guards and administration there referred to it. I was sent to a women's minimum-security, satellite camp. I'm not trying to downplay where I was or whitewash it. It is what it is. But I wanted to set the record straight in case you hear me call it a camp again.)
So while I was away, which was one of the hardest times of my life, none of us heard a thing from Kathy or Rosie. I had a limited amount of people I could include on my email list while I was away, so a lot of people in my life weren't able to email me. Yet they still reached out to me by mail to let me know they were thinking of me. Melissa wasn't on my email list, but she still wrote to me. She found a way to make an effort. Even my fans, people I don't know personally, researched how to contact me by mail and sent me tons of cards and letters (which I kept and still have to this day…) But Kathy and Rosie, my own family, never even made an attempt. That really hurt me deeply.
And when I told Kathy and Rosie that I wanted to "cut the cancer out," what I meant was that I want to get rid of any negativity that I can in my life. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice of words, but you know how I am…Just before Joey and I met with Kathy and Rosie, Joey and I were talking about was how I needed to get rid of anything stressful in my life that I could and he used the words, "cut the cancer out" and that stuck in my head. So now everyone is going crazy over THAT, but I didn’t mean it like it came out.
Here's the bottom line with all of this: I have been to hell and back over the past few years, and with Joe being away, I am still dealing with a lot. But there's only so much a person could take. I know we are family, but after a while I started to think, why do I have to subject myself to this anymore? It's been so many years of dealing with this. I am exhausted by all of it. It makes me sad. Why do you think I broke down crying in Joey's car after Rosie, Kathy and I met? Because in the end, this is still my family we're talking about here. They hurt me and all this is going to take time.
All of this made me question the sincerity of their intentions. They didn’t want to do anything to mend our friendship privately while I was away or after I came home, not even over the holidays. This is my family I'm talking about.
On a final note, no matter what is going on with Kathy, Richie or Rosie, I will always be there for them when it comes to Victoria and the health issues she has been facing. I was there when she first started dealing with this, and I will be there again. I will keep her in my prayers.
I am signing off with a heavy heart this week.
But I still love, love, love, love you all….