Hello Bravo Lovers,
My apologies for not writing a blog last week. I was in NY with my children and had the privilege to sit front row to watch Gigi and 20 other beautiful models walk the runway for TOMMY HILFIGER. It was amazing and good for the soul.
Overall the week was a good test run out in the real world, but unfortunately I still don’t have the stamina I had hoped for. I carefully counted my spoons but had to miss a lot of exciting events with my girls to keep my business obligations. I did make it to the Clubhouse, though, saw Andy, and was saved by the bell in the great company of the funny and talented Craig Ferguson.
Watching tonight’s episode was uneasy to say the least. Not sure a word factory could produce the right ones to describe it, because there are so many perceptions and sides to this story.
I do see that when you are absent, not able to participate in life with your circle of friends, it leaves a lot of space for speculations…
The small moments you see go back SIX MONTHS in time, and remember, they are merely minutes of much larger conversations. What I felt then is not what I feel today. I accepted Lisa R.'s apology when she visited me at my home and was grateful that she showed up and owned her mistake. Yet, her words are out in the universe, and I must admit that once I read the definition of “Munchausen” it hurt and definitely infuriated me. It was hard to understand why anyone would make such a distorted and untrue statement related to my health journey in front of my friends and millions of viewers out in the world.
When Eileen came to my home, I confided in her about how I felt. I had no problem with her downloading it to Rinna as I trust that Eileen always speaks with good intent.
I solely used the word bipolar for argument’s sake, but I realize now that it seems like an eye for an eye, which was not my intent, and I apologize if it came across that way.
I never went out into the world and judged Rinna’s behavior in Amsterdam when it actually happened a year and a half ago, I never spoke in public about her outrageous texts to my friend Kim Richards because that wasn’t my battle to fight.
Fast forwarding to my conversation with Eileen, Rinna’s judgment now was my problem as I had become number three in this group to be labeled by her publicly.
The life of any chronically ill person becomes extremely isolating. At that time I was ultra sensitive to other people’s energy. Therefore when I arrived at Erika’s barbecue the week before, I could feel Rinna’s energy, which was obviously fueled by Eileen’s download of our conversation. I did not understand it then, but I do understand now… Regardless, we laid it all out on the table once more, discussed it, and I chose to move on, because I really did not have the energy or focus to stay stuck in the negativity.
Our hug felt right and authentic to me at that time. Strangely enough, even that was doubted and judged by some.
We, or better said, they have now spoken about my struggles for the past 13 episodes and even though Rinna and I moved on, Kyle and LVP felt the need to stir the pot one more time, which felt extremely insensitive to me.
In my culture, whispering in the company of others is considered rude…
Getting dressed, buying flowers for LVP’s birthday and showing up to lunch was a great personal accomplishment for me, but I have learned now that I can’t assume people will understand how that feels unless they have been in my shoes and walked this journey.
Once I learned to accept the meaning of those words, life got easier and my expectations disappeared.
Blowing wind to a minimized fire at this point was not what I had in mind for my rare outing when joining the girls for lunch, so I left quite confused as to what went down and why this subject needed to be brought up once more by two friends that supposedly did not engage with the conversation to begin with. Kyle’s attitude particularly felt inauthentic to me, and I still don’t quite understand why she is telling me to give her a break…?
It’s interesting how the women have gone from judging my health journey, my no-makeup look, my happy selfies, my sad selfies, my character, my integrity, and now, as Kathryn mentioned, my tone? Yes, my tone is strong… I am 100% Dutch and proud of it. Anyone that was raised with a Germanic language will agree that our tone is strong, especially once translated into English. I am righteous and not afraid to speak my truth. My delivery might not always be as diplomatic as I would like it to be, but my words are truthful--spoken from the heart and to the point.
Yes, Lisa R. has come into this group of woman and consistently labeled people without any qualification to do so, but at least she owns her sh--, and I trusted we moved on. LVP and Kyle could take a lesson from her in that department as both of them are the queens of brushing things under the carpet and holding grudges!
I went home feeling exhausted and confused, I struggled with processing the conversation. I chose to marinate on the situation and express myself later when I had clarity.
I like to believe that Rinna did not anticipate the ripple effect of her action when reciting the definition of “Munchausen” on national TV and how that would affect my family, my children and millions of others who suffer from this debilitating invisible chronic disease, who all identify with the experience of doubt and judgement.
I reached out to Lisa R. when her father passed away, as I felt great compassion for her loss. It’s during those times when we are humbly reminded that we’re just human, we all suffer in silence through difficult times and loss in our lives. For that I have great compassion.
“The vault” to me means a safe and vulnerable space in our hearts, where we share a certain integrity and keep each other’s wellbeing as our first priority. I don’t feel the need to share private matters off any of these women or their families because I care for them as human beings, and exposing private matters to the public would just make me feel like a distrustful human being. I really don’t feel the need to put others down in order to build myself up, which seems to be the motto around here.
I am not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we’re all successful in whatever our personal journey might be.
I accept the fact that by sharing my journey I opened up a space for debate. Debate is good when done with the right intent and kindness. Debate and transparency is what the Lyme community needs in order to bring awareness and education. It just makes me sad to see the judgment and ignorance that comes with it, for all involved, including my own children.
“Lyme disease” just last week, February 2016, met the NIH’s eight characteristics of a WORLD WIDE PANDEMIC! Hopefully this will get the attention of the medical community, and I pray it brings us one step closer to speeding up the process of finding answers that will ultimately lead us to the cure that we all deserve.
Elton John’s “FIGHT FOR AIDS” inspires me every day. When AIDS first appeared three decades ago, it was first seen as a “gay disease.”
That judgment at that time could not have been further from the truth…Tens of thousands of gay men, some of them very close to me, were dying, and it seemed like no one cared. People who contracted HIV/AIDS were doubted and shunned by their own families, turned away from medical providers and treated like they weren’t even human.
Today, thanks to the persistent hard work of Elton and other activists, HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. Instead, it is a manageable chronic illness. We know how to prevent it. We know how to treat it. And someday, we may learn how to cure it.
There is a dangerous lack of compassion for those living with and dying of chronic Lyme disease. Once I personally experienced the stigma around this disease, I decided I could help the Lyme community by authentically sharing my journey. I have joined forces with the Global Lyme Alliance and other Lyme organizations in order to raise funds for research, proper diagnostics and a cure affordable for all. I use my platform to bring awareness to this crisis, because I truly believe that it is the higher purpose of my journey.
Once I get well, I want to do more. I would like to start a non-profit organization that provides care for those who fall on the wayside of our medical system. I would like to one day write a book and download all I’ve learned and share the treatments I have done, but for now I have laser beam focus on getting myself and my children well so that we can get back to the healthy and vibrant life we deserve to live!
We’re like three race horses champing at the bit to move on from this, trust me!
I am hopeful and confident that more Lymies will keep this conversation going and that celebrities and influential people effected by this disease will stop suffering in silence and have the courage to start sharing their journey, as well, because together we have the power to make a difference--each and every one of us.
At the end of the day, that’s my goal, and that’s where I’d like to keep my focus.
Thank you for all your support!