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I Went to Tamra's Because I'm an Optimist

Alexis wants Gretchen, Heather, and Tamra to forget the semantics and just start being nice.

By Alexis Bellino

I want to begin by once again reminding everyone that the events of this episode happened seven months ago, and many things have changed since then. It's really hard to recap something that occurred so long ago without being influenced by the way I feel today.

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Starting off, I understand that everyone handles stressful situations differently, but not having Vicki or Lydia help defend me really hurt. So when Lydia came out to check on me, it was a huge relief. I needed to know that she cared. It's awkward to be leaving a party while your friends who rode with you are staying at the party, However, I didn't want to tell Lydia she needed to leave with me. I wanted her to decide what the right thing to do was on her own. The fact that Lydia and Vicki both chose to leave the party with me meant the world to me. It definitely showed their compassion and character.

Going back to the moment when I was sitting alone in the limo, my emotions took over as I began to grasp what had just happened. Tamra kicking me out of the party was beyond my wildest imagination. I was glad Vicki and Lydia came out to the limo to check on me, but I was also ready to leave immediately. When the conversation between Lydia and I escalated, it is fair to say I was already emotional from what transpired inside. Lydia is entitled to her own opinion, but she hasn't walked in my shoes with these women. She doesn't know what I have experienced or how I've been treated. She claims that I know what I'm getting myself into.

Yes, these women and I are on a television show together, and I have to be around them occasionally. However, it shouldn't be acceptable or OK for them to treat me cruelly or engage in three-on-one tag team just because we make a paycheck. It's true that it was my choice to sign up for the show, but I did not waiver my right to be treated with respect and dignity when I did so. That type of behavior is unacceptable in an office, cafeteria, or playground. My response to Lydia about taking Xanax in the past, although true, was a knee-jerk reaction to try to get her to understand that what I've experienced wasn't minimal.

While we are on this subject, let me clarify my past with Xanax. Last year devastated me. It wasn't solely the Costa Rica trip. It was that coupled with an entire year of hearing these women assassinate my character as well as my husband's, and it continued in social media and in the press. One of the toughest parts for me to wrap my brain around was that I had no clue these women disliked me that much -- until I watched it all unfold with America. I was emotionally bruised, and I took Xanax on three separate occasions to help me through a very difficult time in my life. I do not regret it, I do not think it's shameful and I certainly don't think it's in good taste to judge someone because of his or her use of prescribed medication. Many people have trials in their lives that they need help through. I will never be ashamed to admit that I have been there. However I do want to clear one more thing up: I was not on Xanax the night of Tamra's party and I would never combine it with alcohol (despite Tamra implying otherwise when she was on Watch What Happens Live recently.)

Heather asks why I continue to put myself around this group of women and my answer is simple: I am an optimist, I know people can change, and I thought Tamra saying yes to me coming was a new chapter in our book. Was I wrong to go to Tamra's? Yes. But I am a big girl and I try to handle adversity as gracefully as possible, while still looking for the positive outcome in the situation. I thought my going to the party might be a step forward in moving past our issues. I had no way of knowing what would happen.

A few days after the party, Lydia came over to my house. She was adamant that I need to reach out to Heather and talk. Seriously? I was clearly getting frustrated with her because she wouldn't drop it. Let's think about this, Heather jumped on me when I wasn't even talking to her, then put her hand up at me, then covered her ears like my five-year-old daughter. At that point, all I wanted was to be on the other side of the universe from Heather, not on the other end of the phone with her. Give me a minute and let me recover for a week. Don't mistake frustration with being defensive.

I want to leave everyone with this thought: I think the main issue that I have with the women has gotten a bit confused. For me, it's not about whether or not I should be allowed to use the word "bullying." Call it gang up, three-on-one, picking on, unnecessary cruel treatment. . .choose any. Do I think it fits into the broader definition of the word? Yes. However, I think the girls are making this a matter of semantics, to deflect from the heart of the issue, which is why they've been so hostile towards me for the last two seasons. If the use of the word "bully" is the only issue they have with me, I will never use that word again. There are many other words to describe how I felt. All I want is a little accountability for the antagonism they have had toward me. I don't think Tamra, Heather or Gretchen would allow or want their own daughters to receive the treatment I have received from them. As they've each said many times we are adults, not children -- shouldn't we be acting better toward each other than this?

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