Audrina Patridge Says She's 'Grown So Much' Since 'The Hills' : 'I Was So Naive'

"I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted, but whenever you're thrown into a world where you're just pulled in every direction, you just go," Audrina Patridge tells PEOPLE in this week's issue

Audrina Patridge attends the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl Party at Century City Park on February 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

Audrina Patridge is ready to tell her truth.

In this week's issue of PEOPLE, the reality star — who starred on MTV's The Hills from 2006 to 2010, and then its reboot, The Hills: New Beginnings, from 2019 to 2021 — opens up about the lessons she's learned along the way in her memoir Choices: To the Hills and Back Again (out July 26).

"I have grown so much as a person," says Patridge, 37. "I was so naive and so trusting and just such a people pleaser. And I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted, but whenever you're thrown into a world where you're just pulled in every direction, you just go ... you have to live through things and feel the emotions and learn from it."

Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mtv/Kobal/Shutterstock (5878717a) Audrina Patridge, Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, Heidi Montag The Hills - 2006 Mtv USA TV Portrait Tv Classics

One of Patridge's most difficult moments in the public eye was her divorce from Corey Bohan (from whom she split in 2018 after two rocky years), which included an incident in which she says her ex got physical with her. (Bohan, 40, denies the allegation).

"It was a gradual build up," Patridge says of the headline-fueling split and its aftermath. "It was a gradual escalation that was heartbreaking. A divorce is like a death. 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."

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

"Now, it's like, I love myself enough to walk away," she adds. "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 concludes, "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."

With her divorce in the rearview, Patridge is focusing on raising her and Bohan's 6-year-old daughter Kirra.

First look at the L.O.L. Surprise! Find Your Fierce Event, popping up in in Los Angeles this weekend and Chicago and Philadelphia in weeks to come. -PICTURED: Audrina Patridge with daughter Kirra -LOCATION: Los Angeles USA -DAYE: 7 Jul 2022 -CREDIT: Michael Simon/
Audrina Patridge with daughter Kirra. Michael Simon/

"When I found out I was pregnant, when I had her, it's like my world, all that mattered to me was my baby and making sure she was healthy and she was safe," says Patridge. "Whenever they're born and you look into their eyes, it's this pure love that you'll never experience. It's the most beautiful thing ever. And then it's like, this is love. This is my life. This is what I was here for. This is everything."

"So for her, it just, her being born, it just opened my eyes and changed my perspective on people, on situations, on my priorities in life and the life I wanted to live for my daughter," she adds. "So she could look at me one day and learn from my mistakes and be strong. And it's amazing. I can't even explain it, but whenever you have a baby, it just changes everything. For the best, best way possible."

Patridge's memoir Choices: To the Hills and Back Again is out July 26.

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