Vicki Gunvalson Has the Support of the Last 'RHOC' Alum You'd Expect

"It's interesting to see how time away from people kind of helps heal wounds," the RHOC alum tells PEOPLE

Photo: D Dipasupil/FilmMagic

Though season 10 of The Real Housewives of Orange County was filled with the loss of multiple relationships in Vicki Gunvalson‘s personal life, she gained the support and friendship from someone audiences might have least expected after the cameras stopped rolling.

At the wrap of season 10, audiences watched as the veteran Housewife both defended and said goodbye to her former beau, Brooks Ayers, which resulted in the loss of friendship and trust from her fellow castmates – a feeling that RHOC alum Gretchen Rossi knew all too well.

“It’s interesting to see how time away from people kind of helps heal wounds and helps change things,” Rossi, 37, exclusively tells PEOPLE.

Rossi, who is still friends with former Housewives Jeana Keough, Lydia McLaughlin and Peggy Tanous, reached out to Gunvalson, 54, after the season 10 reunion show.

RELATED VIDEO: Can Real Housewives of Orange County Star Vicki Gunvalson Sew a Button?

“It was interesting because at the end of last season for [Vicki] when all the women turned against her and were just so vicious and so ugly to her, my heart went out to her,” Rossi says. “I think it was because it happened to me in my final season 8 where all the women just completely turned on me and just were so vicious and so mean and it was just on a level that was kind of unnecessary.”

Throughout Rossi’s time on Housewives, the Bravo alum and her fiancé, Slade Smiley, both endured constant criticism from her fellow castmates, including Gunvalson.

“I knew what it was like to love a man and have women coming and attacking me just because you simply loved a man,” Rossi says. “I reached out to her and we started talking. I just said, ‘Listen, I understand. I’m here for you.’ ”

Rossi says that the two connected and spoke on the phone to patch things up.

“We made up and she apologized for a lot of things that she had said about me and Slade and done to me,” Rossi says of Gunvalson.

“I think that in life, that happens a lot. Sometimes it takes you having to go through something yourself for you to really have perspective and in hindsight, be kind of looking backing and going, ‘Wow, I wish that I hadn’t treated that person that way,’ ” Rossi tells PEOPLE.

The Gretchen Christine designer also revealed that she recently went to lunch with Gunvalson, Kelly Dodd and Lizzie Rovsek in June and “just had a ball” with the ladies.

“The four of us went out to lunch and we had such a blast and such a great time. We giggled and told stories and compared stories to certain cast members and [things] that they were doing,” Rossi tells PEOPLE. “Ever since then, Vicki and I have stayed in touch.”

The Real Housewives of Orange County airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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