Lifestyle Food Valerie Bertinelli Says She Has a 'Hidden Bruise' After Being 'Mercilessly Mocked' Over a Pair of Pants The Food Network star shared that she was told she was "too lazy to do anything about" the sound her pants made when they rubbed together By Antonia DeBianchi Antonia DeBianchi Instagram Twitter Antonia DeBianchi is an Associate Editor, Food & Lifestyle, at PEOPLE. People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 13, 2023 02:00 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Dominik Bindl/Getty Valerie Bertinelli is on the path to healing. On Sunday, the Food Network star opened up about "hidden bruises" she "activated" after putting on a pair of pants that she was previously ridiculed for wearing. "I'm giggling because I had a small hidden bruise that was activated today. You can probably hear them because my pants are rubbing together and it makes this particular sound," she said. "I stopped wearing them because I was…mercilessly mocked, you know, 'I'm too lazy to do anything about it. They wouldn't rub together if you...'" she trailed off. The Kids Baking Championship star explained that "hidden bruises are something that emotional, verbal, mental abuse do to you." "People can't see [them] but we got to deal with [them] everyday when they're activated," she said. "I'm so grateful the work that I'm doing on healing, is working." Even though it makes her "giggle now," Bertinelli admitted she once "put these pants away forever" and even changed the way she walked in them. But now, she feels liberated to wear them again. "Hear that sound? That's the sound of freedom to me," she said. As always, Bertinelli shared a message of wisdom and solidarity with any of her fans who have gone through similar experiences. "Now I hesitate to post this because so many [people who will say] 'God, let go of it. Move on.' This is called moving on. This is called healing. And to all of you that can identify with this and feel seen, welcome. I'm just another part of your tribe," she said. Bertinelli's post comes about after her marriage to ex-husband Tom Vitale ended last year. She was also married to the late Eddie Van Halen from 1981 to 2007. The actress filed for divorce from Vitale in May 2022, six months after filing for legal separation in November 2021. In November 2022, she shared on Twitter that she was celebrating what she called the "second best day of my life," when she became officially divorced from Vitale. Late last month, she opened up about "finding texts" and being called "fat and lazy" in the past. While updating fans on her Dry January status, she shared how she was feeling emotionally, too. "I have been screamed at so many times and told how fat and lazy I am," Bertinelli said in an Instagram video. "I realize…that was someone just projecting on me whatever they needed to project on me, but my part in all of it was believing it, and I don't believe it anymore. But it still doesn't stop the feelings from coming up and the hurt." Valerie Bertinelli Recalls 'Finding Texts' and Being Called 'Fat and Lazy': 'I Am Healing' Valerie Bertinelli Says She Is 'Free' on First New Year's Day Since Divorce from Tom Vitale Also in January, Bertinelli spoke candidly about people who endure emotional abuse in their relationships. In an Instagram post, she reposted a video of a woman speaking about why men and women leave relationships, before she provided her own commentary after the short clip ended. "When it comes to emotional abuse and mental abuse, it's not talked about, because you just think, 'I'm not being physically abused, so it's not abuse,'" Bertinelli said. Then noting that "some women get so lost in trying to make their partner feel so loved, so respected that they've lost any kind of love or respect that they have for themselves" the actress continued by saying that a person "will leave to just find themselves again, to just love themselves again, because they don't even know who they are." If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.