These days, Braunwyn Windham-Burke is doing more than just shading her castmates while not speaking to them.
She is on a journey of self-discovery after a lifetime of alcoholism kept her from facing the truth about her sexuality.
On the season premiere of this season of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Braunwyn Windham-Burke made an admission.
She is an alcoholic. She has been using alcohol to cope since she was a young teenager.
These days, she is living separately from her husband — which is a good thing for their marriage — as she goes on a journey of sobriety and self-discovery.
Speaking to Access Hollywood, Braunwyn says that there are aspects of who she is that she never explored or acknowledged until now.
“I’m also coming to terms with different parts of my sexuality,” Braunwyn shares.
As you can see in the clip that we have icnludes, she says that there are parts of herself “that I never really gave myself the grace to consider.”
“You know right now I’m protective of this,” Braunwyn states.
She explains: “I’m not blasting it out everywhere.”
In other words, if she decides to “come out” and share a label, she will do so at a time of her choosing.
“But,” Braunwyn says, “there’s definitely parts of me that I squelched with alcohol.”
“And,” she continues, these are parts of who she is that “I never really admitted to myself.”
Self-discovery can be a lengthy journey, and Braunwyn is very conscious of that.
“I’m 42,” Braunwyn notes.
“So I grew up in a different time than my kids are,” she adds.
Her own children have grown up in an accepting environment where they are encouraged to be themselves. Not everyone is so lucky.
“I’m just giving myself the time and the grace to figure out who I am,” Braunwyn affirms.
Ultimately, she says, she wants to figure out how to “be as authentic as I can to myself.”
That is a very worthy goal.
“At 42 … which is old,” Braunwyn says.
Not everyone is lucky enough to figure out their sexuality in childhood, their teen years, or even their twenties. Very few do so while in the spotlight of reality television.
Braunwyn says that she has now had time “to realize there’s a lot more things about me that I never gave myself the ability to really look into.”
Braunwyn is still on very good terms with her husband, and even says that living separately has made their time together more exciting.
The same cannot be said for her bonds with her castmates — as she is not currently on speaking terms with any of them.
In fact, Braunwyn admits that she is unsure if she will be hired for another season, simply because there’s no way to film her by herself.
Braunwyn may or may not return, but she is certainly on an interesting journey. An open marriage, sobriety, and self-discovery are worth filming.
There is also something to be said for the fact that she is a good person. She makes a wonderful foil to someones like Kelly Dodd, who is even more villainous off-screen than on TV.
Good for Braunwyn for being honest with herself. We’ll be excited for the day that she feels ready to pick a label — if that day ever arrives.