“Oh, my God, I don’t fit in,” Frankel said at Singer’s party. “I’ve been to women’s Upper East side parties before. Some women look great, and some have gone over the top. It looks like the Star Wars bar.”
Frankel told her therapist she also felt like she didn’t fit in if she didn’t make an effort to reconnect with her stepfather John Parisella, whom she hadn’t seen in years.
“He raised me. It got a little hairy at the end, and we stopped speaking,” she said. “But he was the only father I’ve ever known. I feel like I need to reopen that door.”
And she did just that on a trip to Miami.
“I have forgiven, but I haven’t forgotten,” Frankel said of her stepfather, a horse trainer who she said got “physical” with her and her mother, including attacking her when she was 19.
“I saw my mother get the s— beaten out of her with a telephone, while he said she was out having sex on him,” Frankel told her best friend in Miami. “How could you ever beat somebody in front of your kid?”
Said Frankel to her stepfather on the beach in Miami: “We had abuse, we had alcohol, we had gambling.”
“I don’t excuse it,” Parisella said.
“I can’t imagine any of this stuff with my daughter,” Frankel replied.
[Your mother] never wanted a child,” he said.
“She never wanted a child?” repeated Frankel. “Excellent. That was evident.”
“I’m sorry,” Parisella said. “I survived. And you became a tremendous success. I’m proud of you.”
“You’ve never really said that before,” said an emotional Frankel.
“I have so many special memories,” said Parisella, who blamed drugs for many of his troubles. “I believe you still haven’t let go of the past, and that’s not healthy.”
“It’s hard for me to have sex with a man because [of what I saw],” said Frankel. “Be a little sensitive.”
“I was mad,” he countered. “Not hearing from you for 20 years.”
“You got crazy on me, and that was the last time we spoke,” Frankel said. “I’m the child. I reached out.”
“You got successful and had no time for me,” her stepfather said.
“I contacted you during the success,” she said. “I think of you and tell everyone you are the only father I’ve ever known. I’m not angry.”
Concluded a crying Frankel, after “hugging it out” with her stepfather: “I feel like all of that made me the different kind of person I am.”
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The Real Housewives of New York City airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.