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To say I had a difficult season on RHONY is an understatement. Last season, I was helping to make sure everyone got along and liked each other, and I think I succeeded. It was a way for me to focus my energy on something else other than myself and what I was really going through and feeling. As I watched back over the past few months, seeing myself has given me the opportunity to reflect and face the truth. The bottom line is, I behaved poorly. I treated others in a way that was disrespectful, and there’s no excuse for that, so I have decided to share what I personally have been going through this past year as I have been avoiding dealing with my feelings like the plague.
What I must say is that when you are filming a reality show, it is real, it is raw. No matter what happens to you the night before or the call you get before you start to film, it’s all there…no script and you can't become another character. I thought I was OK, I thought I was happy and I thought I was dealing with my divorce well, but the reality is that wasn’t the case at all.
I never thought the man who loved me so deeply and became the love of my life would cheat on me repeatedly! I never thought he would ask for my forgiveness and then do it all over again. Internally, I was broken and did not know how I could move forward. I never really allowed myself to show anyone the deep pain of what happened with the downfall of my marriage. I thought I was putting on a good facade, but the truth came through in my actions and my behavior this season. This is something that I didn't realize at the time of filming, no matter who may have pointed it out. I had to relive it by watching the show over the past several months to come to grips wth some things.
As women, we are known as fixers, and our job is to protect the people we love. I was married for 23 years, and when my marriage was falling apart, I did everything I could to fix it, even accepting abusive behavior from the man who was supposed to be my protector. I was so happy for so many years, and then it all just fell apart and at the end, I was so emotionally broken. My husband and my child meant everything to me. I never imagined that I would lose one of them, and I just didn’t know how to deal with all of it. When you are in pain and you’re hurting, it can manifest in many ways, so in my case it came out in my denial that I OK ok and in my behavior. I understand that now, and I am trying to do better.
I thought I had it planned it out so well, and that’s partly why I never got married until I was 37. I am a planner, and my plan of my idyllic marriage did not work. I know what ultimately pulled me through were my close friends and my financial independence.
My mother was physically and emotionally abused by my father on a daily basis, and she drummed into my head to be financially independent because of her situation. My mother could not leave her husband as she had nothing. I came from nothing, and I put myself through college. I had no connections, no mentors, no TV show to give me organic advertising to promote a business or product, yet I, against all odds and through determination, had my own multi-million dollar business at 30 years old. I give all the credit to my mother for my financial success. I also credit Bravo for my exposure of being on RHONY and being the first Real Housewife to be on HSN. I credit Bravo for giving me the platform that helped me develop my own wine, as my fans would always ask what my favorite Pinot Grigio was. Ramona Pinot Grigio was a great success, and I appeared twice at The Flower Show in Philadelphia, where only the top performing brands are invited. I was proud to be able to accomplish all these things on my own.
For the first time in my life, I have no plans, no set path, where before I always have. It's scary but liberating. I am enjoying and embracing life every day, and my daughter Avery is the biggest joy. She is my best accomplishment, and I know from deep down that I parented her in the right way to make her into the wonderful young women she is today.
I’m not perfect, but I like to say perfect is boring. And boring I will never be!