RHONY Star Ramona Singer on Her Traumatic Childhood: 'It Was a War Zone'

07/28/2015 AT 03:35 PM EDT

Ramona Singer isn't known for having a filtered mouth on The Real Housewives of New York City. Forgetting about the TV cameras that surround the reality star comes easy, she says, because she's had to block out memories since she was a little girl.

In her tell-all memoir, Life on the Ramona Coaster, the reality star opens up about her traumatic time growing up in an abusive home, calling it a "war zone."

"It was very scary," Singer tells PEOPLE Now of not knowing what would happen once the screaming started or when plates began to fly at the family dinner table.

"We never really had normal dinner conversations," she admits. "I think that's one of the reasons why I'm a little unfiltered – I didn't learn how to converse with people."

At the core of Singer's heartbreaking childhood was the dysfunctional relationship between her father and mother.

"I think her weakness made me strong," the 58-year-old says of her mother. "I would stand up to my father, and I wouldn't take his crap."

In the memoir, Singer recalls a "horrible moment" in which, as a teenager, she held a knife to her father after he demeaned her mother and began picking on her.

Despite the circumstances, Singer says, "I think that made me strong throughout my life, that I'm not going to take anybody's crap."

Singer's book Life on the Ramona Coaster is available now on Amazon.
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