Farrah Abraham was gearing up to celebrate her milestone 30th birthday last month — but instead of a joyous celebration, the former MTV star reveals she found herself reeling from the aftermath of an alleged sexual assault.
"I'm just really taking care of my mental health and body, and it’s been tiring," she confesses exclusively to OK!. "It's just honestly affected me. Every woman’s situation with assault or trauma — we deal with different traumas in different ways. I think when our bodies black out and you can't remember anything, your body has its only way of dealing with things."
According to Newsweek, the Teen Mom alum is one of nine women accusing Dominic Foppoli, former mayor of Windsor, Calif., of sexual assault. The San Francisco Chronicle first detailed sexual assault allegations by several women back in April. The alleged incidents took place in California from 2002-2019 and include claims of forced oral sex and rape.
For weeks, Foppoli maintained innocence and refused to resign from his post. However, when Abraham came forward with claims he had also assaulted her in Palm Beach, Fla., he formally resigned on May 21. Both the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and Palm Beach police are now investigating the allegations.
"I'm just trying to be a stand-up citizen," she says of coming forward and speaking her truth. "I'm not trying to hurt other people. I'm just trying to do the right thing."
Abraham says she has been putting in intense work to heal from the traumatic experience but it's a tough road. "I have this brain and it's different than before, and I'm trying to do physical therapy and emotion therapy," she admits. "I never wanted to do this in my life. I have a psychiatrist, I've seen three or four therapists, a rheumatologist, a neurologist. It's a lot, it's just really not fine."
The reality star, who says she also suffers from PTSD and ADHD, explains that for her own well-being, she has had to retreat a bit, having to cancel numerous plans, which in return, has cost her some friendships.
"A lot of people don't understand until something happens like this," she notes. "It's actually pretty sad to see that people don't admit that we have such abuse or such violence in our society. I think sometimes when people can't even believe it and be aware of it, they just don't understand it.
"I have to take care of my mental health first, and it's been really hard for me to do that because I've had to cancel going to weddings, I've had to cancel birthdays," she continues. "I felt really bad, but I couldn't get myself together, and I don't want to bring that negative energy. It's not really 'negative,' it's just sadness and depression and confusion, but I just don't see people understanding that."
She adds, "I know when I just need to take care of myself, and if that means upsetting people and letting them down, which I don't like to do, I have to."
Mirroring her own experiences with abuse, Abraham says she found that following the Jeffrey Epstein case was particularly triggering. "I was very triggered by the same behaviors — that men feel like they can get away with doing [things] to young women, and basically impressing upon women that that culture is okay."
Strength aside, the Couples Therapy alum admits that abuse can happen to anyone. "I really thought I was too old to find myself in this situation," she admits. "Maybe it was disbelief. I've traveled, I’ve been to gentleman's clubs, I've been at night clubs and lounges, I've spoken on panels, I've had book tours and I've always taken care of myself, and I've never ran into an issue like this."
She is also working though her trauma by focusing on her new book, Dream Twenties, a follow-up to her very raw 2012 autobiography, My Teenage Dream Ended, which went to No. 11 on the New York Times' Best Seller List.
In her new self-published, self-help memoir, she gives readers guidance on how to achieve their goals and shares the lessons she's learned along the way.
"It will prompt people to be motivated, be inspired and reflect in their own way for their lives," she says of the book. "I also have good reminders of affirmations, like keeping your mind positive. You have no idea how dark my mind has gotten over this last month and a half."
Abraham actually pushed back the book's release so she could add more about her recent experiences. "There's a section about stopping the silence," she reveals. "I actually pay tribute to people who have been assaulted and getting them up from the bottom, helping them out, and sharing what I'm doing. It's all about standing up for yourself and using your resources within yourself that you always have."
As a way to connect with fans, Abraham is scheduled to headline a "Books and Botox" tour, during which she'll host meet-and-greet book signings and treat fans to Botox specials at her favorite injectors' offices, Flawless Aesthetics by Melanie Speed in Beverly Hills, on Saturday, June 19, and Beauty Lounge Medical Spa in San Marcos, on Monday, June 21.
Abraham's other motivation for healing past her trauma is undoubtedly her 12-year-old daughter Sophia, whom she reveals is also in counseling.
"She has seen her mom fight for everything," she says. "I teach my daughter to be very strong, to not mistreat yourself. I watch her grow and change before my eyes, and I'm so blessed."