June 19, 2024


Health know-how

‘I Wasn’t in a Healthy Place’

Janelle Putrich Photography

Before Olivia Plath starts a family of her own one day, she is taking the necessary steps to heal the wounds from her own childhood.

The Welcome to Plathville star, who celebrated her two-year anniversary with husband Ethan Plath in October, recently began going to therapy again — a decision she tells PEOPLE came to after realizing she “was not in a healthy place.”

“I’m currently in therapy. I started again last month, just realizing that I was not in a healthy place and I needed to work through things,” Olivia, 22, says.

Though she and Ethan hope to have children one day, “I also know that in many ways, we’re not ready for kids,” she says, “and the fact that we need to heal and process our own childhoods before we bring another child into the world.”

Olivia Plath/ instagram Ethan and Olivia Plath

RELATED: Welcome to Plathville‘s Olivia Plath Says Ethan’s Parents ‘Haven’t Made Any Effort to Reconcile’

Similar to Ethan, Olivia says she grew up in a conservative home where she was taught that women were not supposed to be in the workforce.

Though some TLC viewers “think I’m like this worldly girl that came in and was like, ‘Oh here’s a nice family. Let’s destroy this one,’ ” Olivia says with a laugh, her upbringing paralleled her husband’s in many ways.

In fall 2019, audiences met Olivia’s in-laws Kim and Barry Plath, who chose to raise their nine children on a 55-acre farm in a rural part of south Georgia and have largely abstained from technology in the 21st-century world — all with the goal of instilling their traditional values and beliefs. They are parents to Ethan, Micah, 19, Moriah, 18, Lydia, 16, Isaac, 14, Amber, 11, Cassia, 9, and Mercy, 7. There’s also daughter Hosanna, 21, a violinist who tours full-time with her pianist husband Timothy Nobel. They were married in the spring of 2019 and live in Ohio.

TLC Welcome to Plathville’s Plath family

As seen on the current season 2 of the TLC reality series, the conservative Plath family is at odds and has split into three households — Ethan and Olivia, Micah and Moriah, and Kim and Barry with their youngest children — though they only all live blocks apart.

Ethan, 22, also revealed on the show that he and Olivia “needed space as a couple, so we decided that that meant no contact with my parents,” which he began after he and his wife were no longer allowed to see his youngest siblings.

RELATED: Welcome to Plathville: Olivia Reveals Tensions with Mother-in-Law over Their ‘Different Values’

Though fans have been able to see a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the Plath family, there’s more to their stories that don’t make it to television screens.

“For each season, especially season 1, six hours of your life, there’s no way people know what goes on. And sometimes I wish that people understood maybe my background a little bit more or everything I’ve gone through to be who I am today,” Olivia tells PEOPLE.

Janelle Putrich Olivia Plath

“Because growing up in a society where women weren’t supposed to work, and women were not supposed to have a voice or a job, much like Ethan’s family. Growing up in a place where Ethan’s family was, my parents were maybe not quite as strict, but it was very similar,” she explains.

Now running her own photography business (which she rebranded and will launch in January), Olivia says she’s “proud” of the person she is today.

“To be who I am today, not afraid to be myself, running a business, in all honesty, sometimes I do mess up along the way, but I am really proud of myself,” she says.

Adds the TLC star: “I feel like how far I’ve come and how much I’ve worked through, and I think people don’t really understand that I started in very much the same place that Ethan and his siblings did.”

Welcome to Plathville airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.