It's been over a year and a half since her painful breakup with former Bachelor star Peter Weber, and in her new book, Madison Prewett opens up about the lessons she learned on her reality show journey — and how it ultimately made her stronger than ever.
"Going on The Bachelor tested me about as much as anything could," Prewett, 25, tells PEOPLE. "I thought that strength was not being weak or vulnerable. But I learned that it wasn't always about putting on a brave face."
Indeed, Prewett, whose book, Made for This Moment: Standing Firm with Strength, Grace and Courage, is available now, went through a challenging time on the show.
Maarten de Boer/ABC via Getty; Ed Herrera/ABC via Getty
The former foster parent recruiter quickly connected with Weber during his 2020 season, but before the season's end they broke up and Weber ultimately got engaged to Hannah Ann Sluss. However, when Weber called off his engagement before the After the Final Rose special, it appeared he and Prewett might have another chance.
The After the Final Rose live special "was the moment I had been waiting for," recalls Prewett. "Peter and I were going to figure things out and speak our hearts. And this was the first time people were going to see the real me, without any edits. We never came into it saying we were back together, but we had feelings for each other and we wanted to see if it could work."
Instead, Prewett ended up clashing with Weber's mother, who bluntly told her she wished her son had ended up with Sluss. "I felt attacked," says Prewett. "I felt like that moment was fully robbed from me and I eventually locked myself in a bathroom and cried for hours."
ABC Madison Prewett and Peter Weber
Ultimately though, "I saw the big picture," she says. "It was an opportunity for me to share a moment when I felt completely defeated and vulnerable."
In the end, says Prewett, "I never had any hatred for Peter or his family. It was hurtful, but I understood where everyone was coming from."
Still, the former couple realized soon after the finale that things weren't meant to be. "We realized in looking where we were headed and our values and beliefs that it didn't make sense for us," says Prewett of her relationship with Weber. "It was a decision between the two of us, and we ended it with so much love and respect for each other."
"I've learned and grown a lot," says Prewett, who shares her lessons in the book. "And I have no regrets. I was fully myself and I didn't change for anyone or anything."
Made for This Moment: Standing Firm with Strength, Grace and Courage hits bookstands Tuesday.