Erika Girardi is learning to adjust to life on her own after filing for divorce from husband Tom Girardi.
Toward the beginning of Wednesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika caught up with costars Kathy Hilton and Crystal Kung Minkoff after playing tennis at Kathy’s house. As Kathy shared how she was getting her home ready for the holidays, Erika joked that her new residence was “in shambles” since moving in following her split from Tom.
“You know what? It’s yours,” Kathy, 62, told Erika, 49, who replied, “That’s right! And it’s all I need. … I didn’t need to take on what I left.”
During a confessional, Erika pointed out that she “inserted herself” into Tom’s life and didn’t have much say on decision-making. “Just because you have a lot of money, doesn’t mean that you have a lot independence,” she said. “And if you’re not in charge of your own finances from the get, where are you going to go? What am I going to do?”
RELATED: Everything Erika Girardi Has Said About Her Divorce from Estranged Husband Tom Girardi
After recalling to Kathy and Crystal how two housekeepers had made Tom’s Pasadena, California, mansion into more of a “showplace,” Erika explained that she was doing everything all on her own after moving out of the home she once shared with her ex.
“I’m doing laundry myself. You should see me, I’m, like, washing dishes. There’s no housekeepers, there’s no gardeners and I really value my privacy,” she told her castmates. “So in some respects, I kind of like it and I can throw my s — all over the place. It doesn’t even matter, it’s my place.”
Kathy applauded her costar for adjusting to life on her own, noting that Erika was “happy” and had “a smile” on her face.
However, Erika didn’t want to sugarcoat how she was really feeling.
“I would lie to you if I said that I did not have my ups and downs,” she admitted to Kathy and Crystal. “I pull myself up by my bootstraps and keep going.”
Steve Eichner / AP Erika Girardi and Tom Girardi
Never miss a story – sign up for PEOPLE‘s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Later in the episode, Erika welcomed Lisa Rinna and Sutton Stracke into her new scaled-down home. Lisa, 57, said in a confessional that “there’s a real hopeful feeling seeing Erika in her own space that she’s created” since “it’s not easy to go from the life that she had where you had help do everything for you to now she’s doing it all. “
Erika thanked Lisa and Sutton, 49, for supporting her through this “big life change” amid her separation. As Sutton noted that Erika seemed “happier” since the split, Erika replied: “I hate to say that, but it’s true.”
Charles Sykes / Bravo / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Erika Girardi
RELATED: Erika Girardi Spotted Boarding Private Jet amid Bankruptcy Case Disputes, Other Legal Drama
“When you’re not being heard, when you’re bringing up real things that need to be talked about and it’s pushed out, there’s only so much time before you go, ‘You know what, wait a minute,'” she told Lisa and Sutton.
Erika then recalled once telling Tom, 82, about her plans to seek professional help for her mental health.
“I mentioned that I was going to see a psychiatrist because I was feeling depressed and [he’s like], ‘Oh, okay,’ “she said in a confessional.” There was never any, ‘Well, Erika, what do you think is going on?’ Because, remember: what do I have to be depressed about? “
Erika filed for divorce from Tom in November 2020 after 21 years of marriage. Since submitting the paperwork, the estranged pair have both been caught up in legal troubles. Most recently, a judge ruled that Tom’s embezzlement victims are permitted to pursue a collections lawsuit against Erika.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays (8 pm ET) on Bravo.