Defining the Relationship

Alexis shares her take on the "intervention" and ponders how friendships change.

The past few episodes have been very difficult for me. I found myself slipping into a depression from the harsh words and cruel actions of these women. I had to take a few weeks off from blogging, among other things, simply to focus on what's truly important in my life: my husband, children, and my own sense of self.

It is very apparent to me that the past few episodes were all about defining relationships. There are many ways to define the relationships you have with others, and we've seen a very wide spectrum of choices being made; many very positive, many very negative. Defining any relationship can be something you've wanted to do for a long time and suddenly, with one act, it's done. One thing is for sure though: it's hard to go back once choices have been made.

I like to think that most of the time in my life, when I have defined (or redefined) relationships, it has been for the best outcome of everyone involved. Marriage, friendships, children, colleagues. . .these are all relationships that we can either knowingly work on to define every day, OR we can let time takes its toll, and look at a relationship and say, "Oh my, what happened to that friendship?" Usually when this happens, it's because both parties did not take the time to define the relationship. The result is usually not a good one.

So when it came to Costa Rica, the final outcome was a bully session. It may not have been everyone's intent in the beginning, but that is what the outcome was. It doesn't make these women bad people necessarily, but it does mean they made some bad choices. I'm not upset it happened, because it revealed to me a side of reality I could not have been aware of without it.

None of what was done to me seems to have been thought out all the way through. First, calling it an "intervention" would be fine if it hadn’t been so hurtful. An intervention is when a group of people who loves you gets together and sits you down to discuss with you a problem you have. But an alcoholic doesn't get a sit-down talk from a group of alcoholics with drinks in their hands -- he gets it from friends and family who don't have an alcohol problem. So for me to be attacked (and that is what it was in the end) by a group that is equally as materialistic, showy, pretentious, and "phony" as they say I am is ludicrous. No one is going to convince me that I am any more fake than anyone else. Are we fake in different ways? Yes, but I can give examples of each of these women not being authentic.

It's hard, looking back, to take anyone seriously about their stance in Costa Rica when I watch it play out on TV. I see every single woman there with high-end houses, nice things, nice cars, stunning jewelry, beautiful handbags. . . the list goes on and on. They can say what they did was because "I talk about it more," but if you listen to the dialogue that leads up to me talking about any of my things, you will ALWAYS hear someone asking me first. It’s not me just blurting out what I have out of nowhere. Someone says I'm blinding them with my ring or asks me how many cars we have. . .what should I do? Not respond and run away for fear of how I will be perceived by America? Now that’s crazy!

All this paired with the fact that Gretchen chimed in with everyone, instead of telling them to lighten up on me, just put me over the edge. I should have known that would be the outcome when prior to Costa Rica she had been mocking me with Tamra. She did nothing when Tamra proceeded to make fun of my nose surgery and then she made the comment about Fox 5. I was getting hints all along, however, I truly thought that when those women were bullying me that Gretchen would have stepped in. I valued my friendship with her so much. She was truly one of my closest friends at that time, and I would have done ANYTHING for her. I am just hoping and praying our friendship can recover from everything that has happened this season. I love the girl.

The episode before all this happened in Costa Rica where I invite Tamra to lunch should have been foreshadowing. Call me naïve, but I didn't see it coming. Maybe it's because I can honestly say that if the tables were turned, I would never wait until someone was on vacation to come at them, and even more than that, I would never agree to do a group attack that was premeditated. It sent chills up my spine when she says in Heather's room, "We'll just kill the b---h." I couldn't even watch some of the episodes because I would get so upset with some of the things coming out of Tamra and Heather's mouths.

My lunch with Tamra didn't have a surprising outcome, but I feel again like the level of nastiness is unwarranted and doesn't make anything better. If you are willing to put yourself on the line and take a risk because you know a relationship is on life support or just needs some shaping up, that means you're taking the reins of your life and holding yourself responsible for the relationships YOU have created. There are a lot of positive, wonderful things that can come from redefining relationships, but there is always that chance that the person you are in a relationship with is not going to see things the same way you do. Part of the risk you're taking is getting hurt, or having other people say things that you didn't expect, or of having things work out in a way that you perceive as negative. But I think it's safe to say I’m not the only one who saw how this lunch worked out as a negative. I get it: you don’t like me, and that's fine. But most adults would agree that for the sake of a shared group of friends, learning to be courteous and civil is not asking too much of either party. It’s not just our responsibility to our shared circle of friends -- how you behave publicly toward individuals you may or may not like sends a message to your children. To me, it's about responsible parenting and being a responsible mutual friend.

All of this is part of growing up and I personally have found that no matter what the outcome is, I am always happy I decided to be honest about my thoughts and feelings. When you really don't care about someone, you simply don't make the effort to meet them halfway. I'm not making the mistake to think that someone's sharp tongue or hurtful words is a sign of someone who doesn't care. If you really listen closely to people who can't keep quiet about how much they dislike you, you'll find that the truth is not that they hate you, but that it's a deeper issue at hand. It could be hurt, it could be jealousy, it could be feeling misunderstood or slighted -- it could be something you can't even imagine because another person's picture of reality is so different from yours. The truth is it's not mine to understand. . .But it is my responsibility to be respectful, and when I can no longer be respectful, I walk away. On the other hand, don't mistake my kindness for weakness. Just because I don't say every last little nasty thing that comes to my mind, I am in no way weak. I lay my head on my pillow at night content with how I run my life, and that's what is important to me.

I have learned a lot over the past year, and wonderful things can come of relationships that are allowed to change as they grow. But that doesn't mean you should ever become a victim of bullying. Remember that there's no age limit on bullying and it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime. It's not something to be taken lightly or brushed aside. I am working with some bullying campaigns now that do great work. THAT is how I make a positive out of a negative!!! It's never acceptable to hurt others intentionally, and it's even less acceptable for us as a society to let people off the hook for this kind of behavior. So be kind, but be vigilant -- because bullying leads to many sad outcomes, including suicide.

On a positive note, there are SO many new and exciting things happening in my life! We finally opened our first Sky Zone Anaheim Indoor Trampoline park last week, so friend us on Facebook at "Sky Zone Anaheim" to check out new deals and events happening! It's been such a joy wearing the kids out there once a week! LOL!

I'm also really excited to announce that my line, Alexis by Tal Sheyn, is debuting on TODAY (June 13, 2012) so be sure to check it out to get the best deals on my glam fashions! You can get many of the styles for 50 percent on HauteLook! It's incredible how it's taking off! My other line, Alexis Couture, is now in local O.C. boutiques and is still available on my website, They are the perfect casual summertime dresses!

On a personal note, we just celebrated my husband, Jim's, 50th birthday! I know!!! He doesn't look a day over 38! I surprised him and took him to wine country in Sonoma, along with 30 of our closest friends, some new friends, and some friends he's had for 30 years. He was SHOCKED to say the least! I think he teared up at least four times throughout the weekend, as I just kept surprising him with people joining our group and fun activities along the way! (Don't tell him I said that he teared up or he'd shoot me, hehe!). I will have a blog up on in the next week with all the details and photos of what an amazing, breathtaking, captivating, loving weekend it was! We could not have asked for a better group of people being together to celebrate Jim's milestone, including Vicki and Brooks, who had a blast, although Vicki still worked whenever she could! LOL. I was about to throw her laptop into the vineyards!

My tip of the week inspired by is this: Good posture can actually help your body in many ways you don't consider! Holding your abs in (instead of letting it all hang out) will help keep your tummy bikini ready! Keep your abs firm all day -- in the car, on the computer, walking straight instead of slouched! That's an easy fix!

By seeing that good CAN come out of all of this negativity that has occurred over the past few weeks, I am choosing to focus on the positive, and that's what has always gotten me through. I do what I love and now I know to spend as much time as I can with those who I know love and treasure me as much as I do them. The only way to live a truly happy life is to let go of things that make you hurt, and doing it before the hurt makes you bitter. With the love of my Savior and a great support system, there's nothing I can't get through and no goal I can't achieve.

It's my life, my choices, my mistakes, and my lessons. . .

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