Audrina Patridge on the Moment She Felt 'Shattered to My Core' by Ex Corey Bohan: 'I Was Ashamed'

Patridge previously told PEOPLE about finding clarity amid her tumultuous, yearlong marriage to Bohan before finally realizing, "You have to love yourself enough to say enough is enough"

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 15: Audrina Patridge attends the 2019 MTV Movie and TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 15, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for MTV); Mandatory Credit: Photo by Broadimage/Shutterstock (1822406c) Corey Bohan 5th Annual Sunset Strip Music Festival Party, Los Angeles, America - 17 Aug 2012
Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty for MTV; Broadimage/Shutterstock

Audrina Patridge is no stranger to having her private life publicized — but the former star of The Hills and The Hills: New Beginnings is now opening up more than ever before about the darkness she says she experienced off camera.

In her new memoir Choices: To the Hills and Back Again, the 37-year-old mom of one details an alleged frightening physical incident with ex-husband Corey Bohan (who denies the allegation) — and reveals how she was able to overcome the most difficult period of her life.

"I knew he'd been cheating on me with random girls for years," Patridge writes in Choices about Bohan, 40. "I had stumbled upon naked pictures and dirty text messages in his phone; I had received tips and proof from strangers on social media; and I had heard it from his friends, who were there with him on the late nights and bender weekends. Just like the nighttime wake-ups, it hurt a lot at first. But now, having been with Corey for so long, I felt completely numb."

She continues, "I was so focused on surviving day to day that it truly didn't matter what Corey did as long as it didn't directly affect me — or, more important, [our daughter] Kirra."

"I was living small, measuring my reactions," she shares, "churning with unhappiness and loneliness, struggling with the fear that we would fight or that he would get angry. Anything that made him happier and nicer to me was fine in my book."

Audrina Patridge and Corey Bohan
Audrina Patridge and Corey Bohan. Jason Kempin/Getty

In Choices, Patridge describes the moment she claims Bohan put his hands on her — while she was holding Kirra.

"He got closer and closer, his body changing as he got angrier," she writes. "His shoulders squared, his chest puffed, his eyes widened and intensified. I felt like the bathroom was closing in on me ... Without waiting for his response, I focused solely on getting Kirra out of the room. She was just sitting in my arms, eyes wide, looking back and forth between us quietly. I didn't want to risk upsetting her, so I remained as calm as I could. But before I could get to the bedroom door, he breezed by me and got there first, slamming the door shut to block our exit."

"I could feel my heartbeat in my ears, and a shiver went down my spine as he squared his shoulders and narrowed his eyes," she continues. "'Please,' I whispered, 'let me go drop Kirra off. I'll come back right after, but I don't want her to see this.' I knew an argument was coming, and I wasn't even fighting it at this point. I just desperately wanted to keep Kirra out of it. Corey grabbed the backpack I had been packing for the day and shook everything out across the room: my wallet, my laptop, toiletries, everything. I took a small step forward toward the door, and he took a step toward me. Then he pushed me back with a hand on each shoulder. With Kirra in my arms. I stumbled backward, and, for a moment, I lost my breath from the shock."

She adds, "I held Kirra tight in my arms so she wouldn't fall. Even in that moment of panic, I was afraid of people finding out how bad things were with Corey. I was ashamed that my husband treated me like this. I was embarrassed and sad that Kirra had to watch this, that she was in the fray this time when he'd pushed me."

She admits, "But my concern about the media weighed heavy, as much as it pains me to write that. I needed to protect myself — protect my daughter — from their scrutiny ... The entirety of my yearlong marriage to Corey was essentially a long, hard road to divorce. I felt shattered to my core after years of manipulation and emotional abuse, and the idea of facing paparazzi and the public's inevitable curiosity just made the process seem ten times harder. But I was finally forced to say enough's enough and end my marriage."

The duo divorced in 2018 after two rocky years.

Audrina Patridge Choices: To the Hills and Back Again
Simon and Schuster

Speaking to PEOPLE ahead of the memoir's release, Patridge said the divorce was a "gradual buildup."

"A divorce is like a death," she said of the headline-fueling split and its aftermath. "It's something you mourn. And it's really hard to go through. So going through it in the public is even harder. Everything was released publicly so I felt like I had to include that in my book because it was such a big part of my life."

However, Patridge said she was able to overcome her demons — with a little realization and self-love.

RELATED VIDEO: Audrina Patridge Granted Full Custody of Daughter Kirra Max After Split from Corey Bohan

"Now, it's like, I love myself enough to walk away," she said. "You have to love yourself enough to say enough is enough. Or I'm not putting up with this. You crossed the line and I'm not okay with it. It's all about communication and setting boundaries and not being pushed into peer pressure, or gaining that strength, courage, and security back that you're going to be okay."

She added, "I've learned a lot of that going through this. And I've learned that when you're in a bad relationship, you put up with a lot of things because you're trying to force it to work and trying to change yourself, to make the other person happy. And that's not good. You've got to notice all those signs and stop it before it gets too far."

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Choices: To the Hills and Back Again is available now wherever books are sold.

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