Kaitlyn Bristowe Was 'Miserable' After Shawn Booth Split: I Think He ‘Holds Onto Anger with Me’
"I felt a lot of insecurities. I didn't feel safe in the relationship," Kaitlyn Bristowe said
During Wednesday's episode of the Scrubbing In with Becca Tilley and Tanya Rad podcast, Bristowe, 35, shared that she felt "miserable" following her November 2018 breakup with Booth, 33, and that she didn't feel "safe in the relationship."
A rep for Booth did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
The former couple got engaged on Bristowe's season 19 finale of The Bachelorette in 2015. They split three years later, telling PEOPLE in a statement at the time: "Even though we are parting as a couple, we’re very much committed to remaining friends and we will continue to support each other."
However, Bristowe explained to Tilley and Rad that it wasn't until after the relationship ended that she realized how unhappy she was.
"I pushed away a lot of friendships. I didn't realize how miserable I was or how out of touch I was with myself and my confidence until — and I'm not trying to, obviously, blame Shawn ... but I felt a lot of shame from the show. I felt a lot of insecurities. I didn't feel safe in the relationship. I was constantly working on myself, constantly going to therapy to not feel those things," she said.
"I'm the kind of person, I don't think with logic. If he's going to be a certain way — I'm going to meet him in his unhealthy way of thinking. He was the same thing with me and that obviously doesn't work," said Bristowe.
"It's three and a half years of feeling shame and like I don't deserve love from him. And I knew that wasn't right, [but] that's constantly what I was feeling for three and a half years," Bristowe shared.
"I think once you rid yourself of that kind of energy, it was crazy how many things fell into place once that energy was gone," the former Bachelorette said.
Now, nearly two years later, Bristowe and Booth are both living in Nashville, Tennessee — but have never even run into each other.
"I play this scenario in my head more than I should because first of all, I think — and again I'm not trying to speak for him and I don't know — but I truly think he just will never understand me or respect certain decisions and I think he's just gonna hold onto anger with me," said Bristowe.
"That's how I feel, so I would be nervous," she said of seeing Booth again. "I would play nice and even though he hurt me so terribly and things I've never even talked about, I hold anger too, but I know if I saw him I wouldn't be able to be like 'Meh,' that's just not me."
Bristowe went on to share that she was a bit surprised that Booth didn't reach out after Tucker's death. "I thought for sure he would've reached out to me to say either, 'Hey, we're putting him down,' or 'Hey, I didn't want you to have to find this out through Instagram' or something but I can't hold that against him."
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"Everybody grieves so differently," Bristowe added.
"But I did reach out to him and said like 'I am so sorry, if you need to talk. I'm devastated. I can't imagine how you feel,' " Bristowe shared. "And nothing."
"He didn't write me back," she said. "He wrote my cleaning lady back saying, 'Thank you, he loved spending time with you' and I'm like, 'Ah! Cleaning lady? Come on now!' "
Bristowe is now dating Jason Tartick. They first met when he was a guest on Bristowe's Off the Vine podcast.
This past October, the couple opened up about when they see themselves getting engaged, telling PEOPLE that they are approaching their relationship at their own pace.
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight in June, Tartick, 31, said that producers approached him about getting down on one knee and popping the question to Bristowe on The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons — Ever! (aka GOAT).
"They actually came to me asking me if I'd like to take this opportunity to propose," he said, adding that there wasn't any "pressure" from the team. "I shot it down after about a day of thinking.
Tartick, who appeared on Becca Kufrin's 2018 season of The Bachelorette, acknowledged that Bachelor Nation is "part of our history," but he didn't want the proposal to air during a recap of their on-screen love track record.
"We don't need these stories to align in the same showing," he said — and Bristowe apparently agreed with avoiding the proposal: "I told Kaitlyn after ... [and] she's like, 'Thank God.' "