The reality star says she is "such a happier person" after some time away from cameras

By Lydia Price
Updated April 12, 2015 03:50 PM
Credit: Rudy Martinez/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

When Real Housewives of Orange County returns for season 10 later this year, audiences will finally get to see the “real” side of Heather Dubrow.

As an actress turned reality star, Dubrow admittedly had a bumpy transition when she joined the cast in season 7.

“I came in not knowing anyone. I came from the scripted world, and I was very uncomfortable doing reality,” Dubrow tells PEOPLE.

“When I first started the show, I was very buttoned-up and very reserved. It’s really been an evolution for me in the group and on the show.”

That evolution brought its own challenges. Dubrow, 46, says family pressures and feeling like an outsider in the cast meant we saw an uncharacteristic side of her in season 9.

“I was very tired, and I didn’t see the other girls a lot. I felt very isolated,” she says. “I was really angry last year, and I wasn’t sure why. I think that’s why.”

Dubrow and her husband Terry, who stars in the E! reality show Botched, worked on that anger by giving Dubrow space to take charge of the family while he shot his show.

After time away from the cameras with her four kids, Dubrow was ready to step back into the spotlight for season 10 of RHOC.

“When Terry went back to work on Botched, as a family and a couple we talked about it and we decided I needed to take a step back. Let Terry go do his thing,” she says.

“I need to be in charge of the family and our marriage and make sure everyone is functioning, and then I’ll have my time again. You need to make those critical decisions, and it made me such a happier person, and it allowed me relax.”

Thanks to that self-imposed time-out, RHOC audiences may see a whole new Heather Dubrow this season.

“Of course every season has been me,” she says, “but I would say I have felt more like myself this season than any other season. The audience will see a lot of my personality that they haven’t seen before, and I’m probably more of who I really am.”

No longer an outsider in the RHOC family, in season 10 Dubrow grabbles with real relationships – and real drama.

“When I joined the show … I really went into it blindly and now, after four years, I have real relationships. I think it’s going to be interesting,” she teases.

Reporting by EMILY STROHM

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