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This Too Shall Pass

Jacqueline clarifies some things about the Ashley intervention.

By Jacqueline Laurita

Hello again. Today is a better day. This was another difficult episode for me to watch, but this is our reality and that is what we signed up to give you. We can never predict what will come out of each other's mouths at any given time, but once those words or actions are said and done, there is absolutely no way of taking them back. Words and actions in TV land are documented and replayed for us to relive many times as well as put out there for many others to judge and criticize. Imagine some of your worst moments being played out back in your face and to millions of viewers. All I can say is it's real, it's raw, it's relatable to many, and there are lessons to be learned from watching us and also for us watching ourselves. 

How to Watch

Watch The Real Housewives of New Jersey Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo and stream next day on Peacock.

There's not only a downside but a positive side too. I appreciate all of you that have reached out to my daughter and me and shared your own stories and experiences that are relatable to ours. Thank you to those that have offered your kind words, advice, and support. It does help, and it makes me realize that we are not going through these struggles alone. I may not get the chance to respond to all of you, but I do read each and every one of your postings. Thank you so much! XOXO! 

For the rest of you judging us relentlessly... Imagine picking a private moment from your life that you wouldn't be so proud of and letting us share our opinions with you. Everybody has a story. At least we can make a living while sharing ours. LOL! Whatever happens is going to happen on or off camera anyway, so we might as well get to pay some bills out of sharing it with others. My family and I (Ashley included) agreed to be open and honest about these struggles. If people can relate to us and learn from our mistakes, then we are satisfied to have at least helped somebody in some way. It does help us to see ourselves as well. It's better than therapy. We learn a lot by watching ourselves. I don't think arguing with a daughter is all that uncommon anyway. This too shall pass. 

To touch on my blog from last week, I wanted to say that I did have a face to face with Teresa before writing my last blog. Being the Taurus I am, I have an extremely high tolerance for people but when I reach my limit, my deep hurt quickly turns to anger, which brings out the bull in me. I am never afraid to charge, but I also realize that it isn't very pretty when I do. For the most part, I think I manage to contain my self-control extremely well compared to most, even in the most difficult situations. Everyone has their breaking point from time to time. I consider myself a very fair and honest person. When challenged, I can hold my own. I have my own voice so I speak for myself. Nobody is pulling my strings, because I don't have or need a puppeteer, despite what some of you may think. I make my own decisions and come to my own conclusions when it comes to what I believe. I will also own what I say. That is me, and I am human just like you. I am allowed to have opinions, get angry, and react to things that upset me just like many of you have. Sometimes I even react irrationally in the moment. Some of you have shown me that side of yourselves right here on my blog. I am honestly OK with that. I get it. I will respect your opinions and I can understand where you are coming from. All I will say is that you should keep an open mind. I have always loved Teresa and her family. I was hurt, I reacted in the moment, and I'm moving on. We have all been there.

So my breakdown continues. My sunglasses worn in the dark room were clearly to hide my red, swollen eyes. I wasn't trying to look cool, I wasn't thinking that I'm a celebrity or anything silly like that. After the scene we made in the dining area, my only hope was to try to escape out of the back door of the restaurant. I didn't want to walk back through the dining area. I was embarrassed. Luckily, my Maybelline Colossal waterproof mascara did it's job, so no black tears ran down my face. 

Wow! They did such a great job with the captions figuring out what I was saying in-between my hyperventilating. Gee, thanks. Clearly I thought the cameras had gone away after I went into the restroom. What I was trying to tell Chris was that Ashley had told us she was going to California and then would eventually settle down in Texas. She has an amazing family there, but I was heartbroken, because not only did I feel like she was moving away from me while she and I were not doing so well, and I was scared at the idea of her living out there alone, but also because I felt like I was the one who had put in all my love, blood, sweat, and tears into raising Ashley for the past twenty years. I felt sad and jealous thinking about her growing up into the sweet, mature, productive adult that I know she'll be, and her father being the only one that gets the joy of reaping the benefits from all the years of my labor. It didn't seem fair. He would be the one living near her, laughing with her, spending quality time with her, enjoying her children (our grandchildren) one day, and I'd be the one left in the dust with no relationship with my only daughter. She'd be in another state, and I'd be remembered as the stupid, annoying, nagging mother that she once barely tolerated, and I would never be appreciated or admired by her for all I'd done. I would never have the joy of growing older with her and spending quality time with the amazing adult woman I know she'll grow to be.( No really... I seriously think about all of this.) I want the close relationship with my daughter that I see other parents have with their daughters. I find our whole struggle emotionally draining, but I love my daughter no matter what, and I know that things will work out between the both of us in the end. 

We have tried therapy in the past (a few times). I still go. Ashley calls my sessions "gossiping." I prefer to call it "venting" and getting advice. When Ashley started to feel like our therapist shared the same opinion as me about some things, she didn't want to hear it and believed we were in cahoots with each other. That is absolutely not true and ridiculous. Ashley didn't want advice, she just wanted to vent. I thought Ashley would benefit from talking or taking advice from somebody on the outside and that it would be a positive thing for her. I wanted her to be able to call on him anytime she felt like she needed to. I learned a lot from my therapist. I learned that when things started to get heated between Ashley and I, that I needed to disengage and walk away before it escalated further. Arguments between us can escalate very quickly, and it would usually be over something minor. Walking away from an argument is so hard for me to do, because I always want to have the last word. 

I also learned that sometimes you just have to pick your battles selectively. You can't argue every point. Stick to the most important topics. I learned to be clear on what I ask for and to be just as clear on the consequences for not doing what I ask and to always follow through. Never make threats that you're not going to keep. Be reasonable with your expectations. Take baby steps. Maybe my therapist, my parents, and I should write a book. LOL! The problem is, every child will respond differently to different parenting techniques. What works on one of your children might not necessarily work on the other. They are all wired differently. It's all trial and error. You need to find out which parenting technique is most effective for your child. That can be tricky.

I feel I must address something that my husband said to Ashley. I don't know why Chris would ever say to Ashley that I could have had a career, but I chose to take care of her instead. It bothered me that he said that. My career was not one of the sacrifices I made for Ashley when I talk about what I've done for her. I have never and would never blame Ashley for my choices. That is ridiculous! A lot of my dearest friends that were single moms along with me went on to get their Masters Degree while working a full time job. I went to community college and then went on to cosmetology school, because that is the field I was interested in, and I knew that was the field I wanted to go into. I would have still gone that route whether or not I had Ashley. It had nothing to do with her. I just wanted to make that clear. 

As I said in my last blog, when I would tell her to respect me for the sacrifices I've made and how hard I've worked, it was just for her to appreciate me, be proud of me, admire me and respect me for it, and to let her know that hard work does pay off. I just want Ashley to find that balance in life between having fun in her free time and working towards a goal. It was never meant to make her think she was ever a burden to me growing up. Never ever did I feel that way. Until now maybe, when she's 20-years-old, living rent free in our home without a full-time job or going to school, and not doing anything to help propel herself in a positive direction while she's disrespecting me, not doing anything to help me, help me help her, or even to just help herself. 

It is our home, but it is mine and Chris' house. We pay the bills here, not her, and at 20 years old she should be out on her own or helping to contribute in some way or working towards a way to get out on her own. At this point, I am just frustrated, because I know how intelligent and artistically talented my daughter is, and I know she is fully capable of doing so much more than what she's doing. We all worry about her so much, because we love her. I'll quote her father, Matt, when he said, "I just want my baby girl to grow up." Help us help you! My dad always says, "You have to prime the pump." (The parents being the pump.) Meaning you first have to do some work before you get something out of me. I just love that saying. My father is a smart man.

I have mixed feelings about Ashley moving to California. On one hand, I'm sad to see her go. I don't want her to leave when we are on bad terms. I don't feel she's fully prepared for what will be expected of her there. I feel she could be more productive and save money if she stayed here where she has family support. On the other hand, when we argue, I'm like, let me book her the next flight out of here. A one way ticket. Let her go figure life out, since she knows everything and my advice means nothing to her. I'm tired of fighting with her and the rest of the family getting caught in the crossfire. It would be a good life lesson/experience for her.

When I told Ashley and Chris that I would like Ashley to leave the house now instead of waiting two months, it was because I felt disrespected and didn't feel the desire to do her any favors. I figured if Ashley thought she could afford to move to California in two months without any plans of working here in the meantime, then what was stopping her from moving out now? What was going to happen in two months that would suddenly allow her to move across the country and everything else that comes along with that? I had still never heard a rational, concrete plan from her. She was telling me that she would move there and figure it out. Once she was there, all the details would just fall into place. She didn't officially have a job, or a place to live. She didn't have a whole lot of money saved. She wouldn't have transportation. She doesn't know the city or know very many people that live there that she could turn to for help. She would truly be on her own. 

I honestly wasn't trying to be negative about her plan (or lack thereof), I just wanted her to be reasonable and realistic about it before going there and getting in over her head. She is begging for her independence. I don't know if I'm kicking my little bird out of the nest or if she's jumping out. I do know that my little bird has been attached to a bungy this whole time. Time to cut the cord and set her free.

I was almost feeling sorry for myself while watching me cry in my interview until I wiped my tears with a long stream of toilet paper. I then had to laugh. I had a box of tissues in the bathroom. Who the heck gave me that? LMAO!

As far as Teresa and Joe go, they are human, and sometimes good people make bad choices, but as long as people can learn from their mistakes, then something positive can come out of a negative situation. All they can do is move on from it in a positive direction. 

Woohoo! Thank you, Kathy! I needed a girls night out goddess party! Fun, family, friends, food, and a stiff drink or two or three! Never mind smudging Kathy's house, I need the smudging!

Kathy is an amazing cook! She is no joke! I admire that. She even has a way with presenting her food beautifully. I wish I could do that. I can cook, but my presentation could use some fluffing. Putting it in pretty serving dishes doesn't always do the trick. I need to learn to garnish and set a pretty table. Maybe Kathy can give me some tips. I love Mediterranean food.

When I was laughing with Teresa about the parsley, it wasn't to insult Kathy. It was partially a nervous laugh, because I couldn't believe what Teresa was saying out loud. She always cracks me up, but it was also because I had a moment when I purposely put some parsley in-between my teeth. You didn't get to see that. I wish you had. I'm goofy like that. I was in no way making fun of Kathy's food. I loved everything she made. It was delicious and a nice change from the usual Italian food I eat. I like everything when it comes to food. I love trying new things. I thought it was really sweet for Kathy to invite us over for a lovely evening to cook for all of us and she was so gracious and thoughtful with her goddess bracelets and her compliments that came with them. It was, overall, a nice evening minus a tiny bit of cattiness that I'm sure you all noticed. Girls will be girls. I think, for the most part, we all got along very well. 

Um, not going to lie, the belly dancing intimidated me a little. I don't know how to do that, so I sort of just shook everything. It felt a little awkward, but fun and liberating at the same time. Caroline and Lauren just sat there taking blackmail pictures and videos of everyone. Find and delete those, girls! Find and delete pronto, or I will film you sleeping with your mouth open!

I hope I didn't sound sarcastic when it came to my silly mocking of Victoria. You have to understand my sense of humor. I was being silly, because I was really impressed with Victoria wanting to study and do homework on a Friday night without Kathy having to sit on her to do it while holding the pencil in her hand. LOL! It was refreshing. She is such a great kid. I wasn't making fun of her. I'm not sure if it came off that way. If so, I apologize. I admire the Wakiles. They remind me of the Cleaver family. (Remember that old show 'Leave it to Beaver'?) I admire Victoria's relationship with her mom, because it just seems to flow so easily. I wish it was that easy for both Ashley and I, but I am hopeful that it will happen someday. 

Richie, as funny as he can be, is MOST DEFINITELY a ball buster! He has a good sense of humor. He makes me laugh. I get him. I don't think he is particularly obsessed with anyone to be honest. He teases everyone. He is also a good sport when teased back. He's a funny smart ass. LOL! To handle Richie, you just have to tease him back or just laugh it off. I think if you actually sat Richie down to let him know that a comment of his really offended you, he would be sensitive enough to apologize and wouldn't say it anymore. He always calls me "the quiet storm." He says I'm a sweetheart, and that it takes a lot to get me mad, but when I do... RUN! He also says I'm quiet and you may think I'm shy, but I know how to have fun. I can get my crazy on sometimes. You have to live a little, you know? You have to release once in a while. 

Enough writing this week. I've said enough. Take care and thank you all again for your support. Now it's your turn to vent.

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