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We’re used to seeing the glossy side of Lauren Goodger’s life through her ultra-glam selfies, but the reality star shocked fans last week when she posted a heartfelt confession on Instagram Stories, revealing she’d just had her first therapy session.
The 33-year-old couldn’t hold back the tears as she told her followers she was finally facing up to issues she had long bottled up, and would be sharing her journey with fans.
And when new magazine call her to find out how she’s doing now, Lauren admits that despite being free from the relationship dramas that might have triggered problems in the past, she’s feeling at an all-time low.
“I’ve been through break-ups, but now I’m fine. I’m not in love with anyone, I’m not being hurt by anyone and I’m feeling the worst. I don’t know why,” she tells new.
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But as she opens up to new, it’s clear that issues relating to rejection have played a big part. “I’ve always suffered with the rejection thing,” she admits. “Even though I’m a strong person, I feel like it’s bothering me more now than it ever has.”
On top of that, the former TOWIE star, who was previously engaged to Mark Wright and has since dated bad boys Joey Morrisson and Jake McLean, says being papped day in, day out, has taken its toll. “I’ve had 10 years of it, every day. I can’t enjoy myself, I’m conscious every time I walk out of the door,” she says.
So what does Lauren hope to achieve through her therapy journey?
“It’s not like you’re gonna wave a magic wand and I’m going to be this amazing person,” she laughs. “I’m so sceptical about it. It’s like when people see fortune tellers. It might make me feel worse, it might not do anything, it might make me feel better. But I’m quite open and I’ll talk.”
Here, Lauren opens up about family fall-outs, feeling broody and going back to her “girl next door” roots…
Hi Lauren. How are you feeling after sharing your heartfelt post?
Do you know how hard that was for me to do? To actually be vulnerable and open up. Instagram just shows the best bits and nobody ever really tells you what’s going on behind closed doors. What I’ve done is so real and so raw, and it’s so genuine. It’s what I’m feeling right now and people loved it.
The response has been amazing. How has that made you feel?
People aren’t silly. They see I get a lot of stick for no reason, so a lot of people reach out to me. And that does keep me strong because it’s sweet and reassuring that people see through the bulls**t sometimes.
Why did you decide to start therapy now?
It’s not because I’m crazy or something in particular has happened. This lady had reached out to me a few times saying she had qualified to be a therapist and would love to work with me. I thought, “I’ve got nothing to lose”, and even though I’m a little bit sceptical, I’m not going to deny it. I’m a bit like, “Oh God, what a load of rubbish. Just sitting there talking about stuff.“ But I need to try something before I knock it. It works for a lot of people. I never normally like to open up about the past, but it’s something I need to try and I’m going to blog about how I get on.
You were on Channel 5’s In Therapy in 2017. Did you carry on with sessions after that?
No, it was just a job. It was four hours in total and just a TV show. For me, it was more like an intense interview than therapy.
Had you thought about having therapy before?
Not really. I’m so like, “Forget about the past, this is the future.” You can’t change anything. You just have to carry on. But my life is so fast paced I’m probably not processing certain things, and I’m just kind of blocking it out, which is why I suffer with anxiety.
Did your anxiety get worse over lockdown?
It’s been a really weird year. I think back to last year when I was going to boot camps for two weeks. I couldn’t do that now. I don’t know how I did it! I want to get back into training again and feeling amazing, but I can’t do it at the minute. I don’t know what I’m going through, but I just can’t. I’ve got a PT sitting there ready, but I’m cancelling every session. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.
Have you had any support from your family?
No, I don’t talk to any of them and they don’t talk to me. They’re good people, I’m not going to slag them off, I just can’t have that in my life. I feel very hurt, upset and used at times. It’s such a shame since coming into the public eye how much my relationships have changed with my family. It’s quite upsetting, but I have to look after me.
Did anything specific happen to cause the rift?
Not really, I think it’s a lot of things. It’s a shame how my sisters are – they fall out with me all the time. I think a lot of families have fall-outs, but I hope one day we can be close like we were years ago. But I don’t know. I think they think I live this high life, that everything is glamorous and wonderful when it’s not. But if they just took the time to make a little bit of effort with me… It isn’t one way.
You’ve been open about being rejected by your mum as a child. Do you think that’s where it all began?
It must be because I was only four, but my mum had a lot of personal things going on. I’m so lucky that I did keep my head in the right place, because I could have gone off the rails. I’ve had long-term relationships and a lot of stability, so I’ve been lucky that way.
What about your dad?
I’m not close to my dad, I haven’t been for years. He has his own life and I’m not really part of it. I feel like when I do see them, they think I make no effort, but I feel like I’m not included half the time. The best thing I’ve done is consciously come out of there, which was a really hard choice to make, but I needed to do it for my own happiness. They might think I don’t care and I’m too busy, but it’s not that at all.
That must make your feelings of rejection even worse…
They probably think, ”If we invite Lauren she won’t turn up”, so that creates a problem because I feel rejected when they don’t invite me. When they do invite me to things, it feels like it’s at the last minute, so because of my lifestyle I can’t make it. I feel like they set me up to fail so they can all go, “Told ya.” It’s a constant battle, so I’ve had to cut it out.
Have you ever talked to them about your feelings of rejection?
I don’t think they give a s**t. I tried once with my dad and I felt like he just got angry. I had chats with my sisters briefly, but I feel like they don’t hear me out. It’s sad because eventually I will meet someone and have kids and where will my family come into that? I just think that I’m not going to have anyone to help me except friends, which is lovely, but very different to family.
Has your mum apologised for rejecting you?
No. But she’s got her own issues. I’m not going to judge because she’s got s**t going on. I don’t think she’s got the best life. My attitude has always been “do something about it”, but I get it’s so hard to do when you feel s**t. I’m not depressed, but with my anxiety I feel like I physically can’t do the things I want to do. And that’s how she must feel.
Do you hope to heal the relationships?
I can’t be bothered with it. It’s sad, but I deserve happiness. They’re my family, but I don’t feel likethey treat me right. If you’re not treating me right, it doesn’t matter if you’re family because you need to respect me. I feel like they judge me and they shouldn’t, so let them get on with it. I’m not a little girl any more. I’m independent, so who is anyone to dictate to me?
Are your friends supportive?
Yes, but friends and family are different. Your friends aren’t there to come to sleep over or make a roast on a Sunday, that’s how you are with family. They’ve got their own families and kids and partners, but they always invite me which is lovely.
What sort of things do you feel you miss out on?
I need a mum to come around and go, “Right, I’m going to cook your dinner tonight.” Or, “I’ve brought you some food shopping.” I’ve never had a dad come to pick me up and go, “Come on, let’s go and sort your car out.” I don’t know what that feels like so I’m independent, getting my own car fixed, or doing my own DIY. Usually when I have a boyfriend I’ve always naturally done those things with their families.
You posted a throwback photo of your mum and dad in the 80s. Was that you reaching out to them?
I don’t know why I do some of the things I do. The majority of the time I’m drunk. But I thought it was quite cute.
Do you ever wish you weren’t in the public eye?
If I didn’t have this job, then a lot of people around me would be different. I think my family would treat me a bit differently.
What other topics will you be discussing in therapy?
I’ve noticed I keep getting into the same situations with the same friends, the same partners. I feel that will keep happening for a reason until I learn some lessons.
Have you ever felt suicidal?
I’d never feel suicidal because as bad as I feel, it will pass and I’ll be OK. You have a great life in front of you and you’re a good person. That’s what keeps me going.
Where do you get that inner strength from?
I really haven’t got a clue. It’s something that’s in me. I’ve dealt with a lot and I pick myself up. Nobody picks me up ever.
Where do you want to be in a year’s time?
I want to get my s**t together. I want to get organised, I want to get up early, get good sleep, be in a routine where I’m cooking. I want to focus on training and work, because that’s so much more important to me than anything else. Everything at the minute is back to front and that’s because I look back on what I used to be.
Do you want to meet someone?
I would love to be in love. This is the first time in my life I’ve not been in love and it’s so weird. But I’m not ready at the minute. If you gave me my husband right now, I wouldn’t be ready to meet him.
You were papped with a mystery man last week. Who was he?
That’s my good friend’s boyfriend! They’ve been together for seven years and they’ve got a daughter. She’s actually in the pictures, but her back is to us.
How long have you been single?
Nearly two years. I’ve “seen” people for a few months here and there, but no one I would call my boyfriend. Maybe that’s why I’m going through this, because I’ve never been single since school. Now I’m on my own and things are coming out that haven’t before.
What sort of relationship do you want to have in the future?
I need to change the type of guy I’m going for. I need somebody who’s just a nice, stable and loving person who gets me. Because I can be a handful at times! I just want to be normal Lauren again, who is in this type of job, but also has her hair piled on her head, tracksuit on, does her food shopping, does her make-up. I have a very normal, cute side.
Is that the real Lauren?
Yeah, everybody who meets me says, “You’re so nice!” and I don’t get what they mean. I don’t see what others see from the outside. A lot of well-known people DM me privately saying we know and love you, but I don’t share their messages.
Do you feel you’re misrepresented?
Yeah, it doesn’t help that certain paps make me look absolutely terrible. They use different lenses and every distorted picture of me looks blurry. I’m not saying make me look like a Victoria’s Secret model, but make me look normal!
Is that why you post your own sexy pics on your Instagram?
I feel like subconsciously I’m trying to prove a point, like, “I am sexy, not fat and ugly.” At heart, I am a classy, old-fashioned girl, and it’s a shame I have to portray an image that I’m not.
Would you rather not have to?
I posted a picture wearing a dress that wasn’t my normal style, quite mumsy, and people DM’d me saying, “This is the Lauren we want to see. We don’t want to see the arse and the boobs,” and I get it. I want to go back to dressing classy, acting classy. I want to change that image and be more the girl next door and the Lauren that I was.
How does that fit in with joining OnlyFans?
They were trying to get me to join for two years and I was like, “No!” I thought it was porny and never wanted to do that. But in the end, I was like, “What have I got to lose? Why not do it, but just be careful with it?” I don’t show anything naked. Sometimes I just post nice, sexy photos. I like to mix it up a little bit and make good content, but that doesn’t change the person I am. You can’t judge someone for that.
Has it boosted your confidence?
Not really. I’m actually going to take it a bit more seriously, but I’ve never put anything on there to jeopardise anything. Some people get their boobs out, I don’t!
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Apparently Katie Price is set to join the site. Did she come to you for advice?
I used to talk to her, but I don’t any more. And not in a bad way. If I saw her I would, but we’ve kind of just gone our different ways.
Who do you keep in touch with from your days on TOWIE?
The only person I’ve seen lately is Gemma [Collins]. She said to me, “You need to have more people round you that know the real Lauren who will build you up.” She said, “You’re tiny. Look at your little body. Even your frame’s small. You just need to be more confident because you’re so insecure.” Gemma’s really got my back. She’s like, “Come on my show!” She’s funny..
Finally, are you keen to have a family of your own?
I’ve always been broody. I absolutely love kids, but again I’ve got to do this right. I need to be with somebody I’m going to do it properly with. But I definitely can’t wait. It’s going to change my life, because I’m doing it on my own. I don’t feel like I’ve got a mum or dad to help, so it will literally be me and the guy – and men are useless!
If you’re having a difficult time and need to talk, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org
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