Jenner's journey to become more comfortable in her own skin and to help her family heal was at the heart of Sunday's episode

By Adam Carlson
Updated October 05, 2016 06:19 PM
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Credit: Splash News Online; GC; Inset: Donna Ward/Getty

This is the dark side of a journey: As you move closer to one thing, you move farther away from another.

The fourth episode of I Am Cait was all about this, as we watched Caitlyn Jenner continue to grow closer to other members of the transgender community – always learning more about their challenges and successes and many different ways of seeing the world that they share – while wondering if her own family was pulling away.

A literal separation plagued Jenner, 65, who wondered aloud about the fact that none of the Kardashian children had made a trip out to her Malibu home since the transition.

And the hour was full of references to a series of “harsh” text messages former stepdaughter Khloe Kardashian had sent after becoming upset about public comments Jenner made about ex-wife Kris Jenner.

But Caitlyn was also plagued by dreams: The hour opened with a video diary entry of Jenner awake and alone at 2:57 a.m., having imagined as she slept that she was surrounded by “absolutely horrible” paparazzi.

A phone call from Candis Cayne interrupted Caitlyn’s Internet surfing (to see what “the world” was saying about her children).

Cayne wanted to know: Would Caitlyn like to come over for a sleepover?

Caitlyn agreed, and told the camera: “It sounds very elementary, but in a way I’m kind of just in the beginning of this whole transition, I’m like a young little girl going through all these things.”

She briefly worried how she could make it to Cayne’s home without dragging a cloud of paparazzi with her, but that didn’t become an issue.

Instead the ladies spent a girl’s night drinking wine, eating pizza and exploring Cayne’s closet. Jen Richards and Kate Bornstein (an author, performer, and gender theorist) also stopped by the slumber party.

They weren’t the only guests of the episode: Caitlyn brought Susan Landon into her home and went with Cayne to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where they sat in on two sessions of Transforming Family, a support group for the families of gender diverse kids, facilitated by Chaz Bono.

One theme ran throughout most of these conversations: How could Caitlyn learn to let the comfort she had discovered in her own skin cover over the hurt her family felt? It wouldn’t be an instant fix. As Landon told her: “You can’t force acceptance.”

But Caitlyn did sit down with two of the girls, where they “hashed out” some of the fallout from Caitlyn’s Vanity Fair cover, which the family felt had been unfairly, even disrespectfully, negative about Kris and their daughters.

Kim Kardashian West came out the Caitlyn’s home. As she explained, “I think there are some things that you said that you might not realize are hurtful” – for example, a line in the story about how Kylie and Kendall Jenner were a “distraction.”

Kim said that Caitlyn’s comment that if Kris been more accepting they would still be together was especially unfair.

“You look amazing, it’s your time, but you don’t have to bash us on your way up,” she told Caitlyn, who said that her only goal was honesty, and never to hurt her children.

“Everyone is reading too much into every little word,” she said.

You’ve got to maintain the family unity, Kim told her. “You’ve got the fame, but you’re losing your family,” she said.

RELATED VIDEO: Caitlyn Inc.: The Business of Jenner’s New Life

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Late in the episode, Caitlyn met with Khloé at her home, where she said something similar: There was very little communication in the family and lots of miscommunication about what Caitlyn’s comments meant, and no one was saying how hurt they were (including Kendall), which left it up to Khloé, she said, and which made her look very aggressive.

She joked, “I’m only the bitch! I don’t wanna be the crazy and the bitch! I wanna just be one.”

Their sit-down was a bit sassy: At one point, Caitlyn said that, in comparison to the Kardashian girls, she has bad eyelashes and quipped, “That’s why I went with the ‘C,’ ” earning a shocked little laugh from Khloé.

Caitlyn said she thought Khloé’s texts were “tough,” and Khloé said that Caitlyn should never mention Kris. Caitlyn explained that in her marriage to Kris, she “constantly” had to hide who she was, and wasn’t allowed to discuss her true self with her wife.

In a newly released promo for the rest of the season, Caitlyn and Kris will sit down together on camera, and it will include tears.

“You’re sensitive and amazing to all these new people in your life, you’re just not so sensitive and amazing to the family that you left behind,” Kris says in the clip.

Khloé told the camera during their conversation, “Caitlyn is allowed to have your own feelings, but she’s very one-sided. There’s so much I could say, but it’s a losing battle, and I really just don’t want to fight.”

Still they parted with hugs and a quick technology lesson for the future: Khloé showed Caitlyn how to start group messaging, which would be an easier way to keep everyone in touch with everyone else.

Their reunion echoed earlier advice from Landon: Healing may not always follow Caitlyn’s schedule.

But as Bornstein told her at Cayne’s home: “The only way I’ve gotten through it is to own it. Owning the freakdom with heart and going, ‘Yeah I’m a freak, and I love you, and I won’t hurt you.’ ”

I Am Cait airs Sundays (8 p.m. ET) on E!