To all you die-hard blog readers, I am finally updating mine! Yep, I've come up for air people. Let's see how long my concentration lasts today... Last week I actually had started a blog about the astrologist. I had a really good story, but totally lost focus. Later in the week our reunion show with Andy Cohen was filmed, which happened to be the same day as the Christina Aguilera concert in Vegas. Andy or Christina? Should I give up my front row tickets to see Christina or do I chat with Andy for the day? March 20th — you'll see who got the love!
Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about Ash for a minute. The day I walked into the townhouse and confronted Ashley was supposed to be a non-filming day for me. When I arrived at the townhouse, the camera crew was outside prepared to follow Ash for the day. Ash for some reason wasn't answering the door for the crew. I went in to find her just getting out of the shower.
She was still emotional from the day before and I don't think she appreciated the cameras rolling, especially when she started crying. She is a lot like me in that we are uncomfortable with people seeing our tears — our vulnerability. I thank Bravo for not showing mine that day — it was a very emotional day for us. Ashley knew we had an agreement in regards to her living there and she basically realized that I was calling her out on not living up to the conditions. She was obviously embarrassed and I am sorry for that. Parenting Ashley for the most part of her life has been easy. She really didn't require strict parenting. She was extremely obedient, never got into any trouble, always did what was expected of her and was a sweet, fun and pleasant girl to be around. She became slightly rebellious at 18 and would walk away when I tried to offer advice. This is something that drives me crazy, because I think communication is key. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree, just sit down calmly/rationally and listen 50% more that you speak — you know that "two ears one mouth" sort of thing!
Anyway, in all of Ashley's stubbornness (it runs in our family!) through the last couple of years, her troubles were nothing compared to Josh. So I think that Ashley felt entitled to more from me because she did not cause me any significant heartache.
Viewers probably see this in her bratty attitude, but without knowing our family dynamics and the history of what we've been through over the last 20 years and especially the last five years with Josh's struggles, viewers would never understand it. It is like putting a puzzle together, but missing the center pieces. Our family sees the completed picture. It makes perfect sense to us because we lived the beginning, the middle and the ending. Viewers only see a small portion of that time.
I must say watching Ashley's interview and hearing her say that it took me 46 years to get my life together and that I was trying to parent her now instead of "party" with her, was like getting punched in the stomach. This reminds me that I need to ask Ashley when we have ever "partied" together. Is she talking about birthday parties? I will admit that I do agree with some of her statement although, of course, I see it differently.
My perspective is that my children are seeing me, for the first time in 20 years, in a healthy, normal and loving relationship. This must be strange and perhaps even uncomfortable for them. In a sick way (and probably only those of you that have ever experienced an abusive relationship or have lived in an unhealthy environment will understand) -- when the tornado stops, you don't know how to handle the calm, because you don't know any different.
My children have been my sole focus for the last five years (after my divorce) and I've been trying my best to bring about that sense of normalcy and calm that we desire. I think being a single parent is particularly difficult. I probably got too close to my children during that time. I have learned that this is a very fine line. Children have a way of manipulating their single parents.
With all that being said, my children never saw me date. I only introduced them to one man other than George during those five years. Without a man in the house, I think Josh felt the need to assume that position. When I met George, I think the children immediately saw a difference in me and sensed the seriousness of our feelings for one another. I think that my children even felt threatened and experienced jealousy thinking they were going to lose me. I think those feelings are natural and somewhat normal to a point. However, Josh became angry with me and said that George had replaced him.
Of course, those feelings reflect lack of maturity on Josh's part, but I am confident that he will mature and realize children aren't replaced with a step parent and that I love them more than life itself. My daughters understand that I have room in my heart to love George without effecting or diminishing my love for them. My love for George does not compete with my love for my children. Josh does not understand that yet.
Anyway, long story short and moral of the story (if there is one) is that children mature at different rates and what works for one may not work for another. The age of 18 is just a number. I've seen many 40 year olds that are not yet adults. Parenting is difficult and single parenting is nearly impossible! Of course, I am not the perfect parent (I have yet to find one) but I try my hardest to do what is best for my kids, love them with all my heart and do what works and feels right for us.
So back to the townhouse.... You will be pleased to know it is in the condition in which I purchased it. Brand spanking new — it even smells of fresh paint. I think I am just going to utilize Jeana's solution for everything and sell it on eBay!
I want to thank all of the fans that stop me in public and embrace me with your kind remarks. It really makes a difference to me in knowing that you are enjoying our show.
I am continually amazed by the diversity of our viewers-young, old, male, female, straight, gay, rich, poor and of every color possible. It really goes to show you that although we may have external differences, we can relate to one another on some level and deep down, most of us face the same hopes, dreams and challenges.
A special thanks for everybody that helped me and Lorelei out yesterday when we got rear-ended in my new car on the freeway in San Diego, thank you! From the CHP to the Coast Guard — all fans of the show — we love you! Our necks and backs are a bit "crunchy" and we are very sore, but we are OK.
Lastly, without going into detail, I would like anyone compelled to do so, to please pray for Josh. I have always believed in the power of prayer-the more the better. Please ask for his safety and that he be given the power to accept responsibility, handle the consequences with grace and have the ability to change. Thank You!