The first episode is the hardest for me, because I was dealing with baggage with Mimi. It's a very intense scene to watch. I was so vulnerable and I felt so much anger. It was difficult for me to share my therapy session. The negativity that occurred in that session was astounding. I had no idea while I was actually in it how angry and frustrated I really was. I struggled with the decision to bring the cameras into the therapy session. But this season, more than anything, I wanted to show a different side of myself -- a more human side. So I made a decision before we started filming that I was going to allow the cameras into more aspects of my life and to also show my internal struggles, my stress and my feelings. Last season, I checked out sometimes. I wasn't comfortable with the cameras; this year I truly am. Also, I really think I can help people by showing these things.
Viewers who watched the premiere on BravoTV.com early have contacted me. I can only tell what the country is feeling by my email and the response I get via email. I was so afraid ...afraid that I was going to look weak and that people were going to attack me for this episode. The opposite has happened. I have so many letters from people who have told me, "Thank you. This really hit home for me. It was really uncomfortable to watch." And so the response was tremendous.
Dr. Shirley didn't seem to be nervous to be on camera. But I'm afraid that she's going to blow up after this show. She's just so good. I told her, "You just wait." She's really strong and she gives guidance and she tells it like it is. There are sessions with her all throughout the season. With Dr. Shirley, we deal with issues that are not all about my relationship but what led me to be in this kind of relationship.
Every time I see Doug on screen, it's hard. I have mourned Doug more than I have mourned my own father's passing. It's so there ... it's so in front of me and I can't run away from it. I've dealt with it for so long now and it's almost public, actually it is because we're filming it. And you can't run away from the camera. It's been a much more healthy mourning process than I've had with even my own family. Because I can always get on the plane from Ohio and just leave. The scenes with Doug and Chao just made me cry. Their relationship is just so deep and that's how it should be for a longtime partner. I cried for a couple of reasons. Knowing the end result is heartbreaking because at this point, none of us knew Doug was that ill. Secondly, seeing the love between them and knowing what I was going through in my relationship, well, it was such a startling contrast. This is what it should be. Boy, I wondered, I've been living a lie for four years and settling for 10% of a relationship. What had I been thinking?
Being on TV has affected the trainers. The egos are abounding. I didn't expect that. So that bootcamp was a good chance for me to see them and let them know that they need to check certain things. I'll allow certain things for a little while but I will not allow disrespect. Brian in particular has been butting up against me and showing disrespect. I've had to put him back in his place. He's an employee and I'll reward him when he does well. But he won't get any rewards if he's a jerk and battling against my authority. Right now this is my business. In this episode I explain my new venture, intensive retreats for people who are serious about making a big life change. This idea came from a personal search. I had looking for a camp I could go to last year before the first show. I wanted to go to a beautiful, natural, aesthetically pleasing setting where someone fed me what I needed to eat and I was worked to a level like a boot camp. But I wanted it all in a beautiful setting where I could make a chemical change and a physical change and just amp it up. I couldn't find it. I looked all over the Internet. I called my friends at Self magazine and Allure, my editor friends, and no one had any ideas. I thought: Oh my gosh, this is a niche that needs to be filled and so I started looking for appropriate partners.