Mom: If you are feeling bummed out or want to feel happy what do you do to make yourself feel better? What makes you feel happy?
Ryanne: It used to be food, which is terrible, I know. But I know many girls can relate. Now it’s more music and writing. If I’m feeling sad then I put on a sad song and I just let it all out. Then I put on some Tupac from there on out.
Mom: Ryanne, that is interesting. You used to not want to feel emotions or feel sad. Do you find yourself a little bit more able to feel sad when you want to feel sad and let it go or do you still try to hold it all in?
Ryanne: It’s 50/50. It depends on what it is. Um…normally, if it’s something I’m not really comfortable talking about I will ask not to talk about it and then let it out, cry about it, when I’m by myself. Then, I will come and talk to someone about it.
It’s like wearing an itchy wool turtleneck sweater. The emotions would be the turtleneck sweater, obviously, because they are hideous. It’s like when you don’t want to feel something you are engulfed in this uncomfortable sweater and you can’t get it off. You want to let go, but you are afraid to. You are constantly reminded how itchy and uncomfortable it is. Then when you finally get the sweater off, you think ‘yeah…that sucked….but it’s finally off.’ It’s done with. That’s how it feels for me.
Mom: Ryanne, your parents are divorced. I know it hasn’t always been easy. Is there anything good about having divorced parents?
Ryanne: Christmas and birthdays. Seriously though, you get the feeling of having a big family. With two extra parents you get twice the amount of love and twice the amount of support. You also get your own space. Sometimes it’s nice to be smothered and sometimes it’s nice to feel like you can be on your own.
Mom: Ryanne, I have to ask you a question I've always assumed I knew the answer to, but I want to ask you to be sure. You can answer honestly, and you won't hurt my feelings. Why did you move in with dad?
Ryanne: Because I felt like I never got to see him, and I wanted to see more of my little sister.
Mom: What’s been tough about having divorced parents?
Ryanne: Feeling like I’m constantly stuck in the middle, like when they try to arrange plans or an issue comes up. Instead of talking to one another it gets put on us. It’s suffocating almost.
Mom: That must be hard. I’m sorry you feel like that. I’m sorry we sometimes do that to you.
Ryanne: It’s okay.
Mom: If you had to offer advice to other teens whose parents are divorced or going through a divorce, what would you say?
Ryanne: Don’t resent them. Just know that it will probably make them happier to not be together. Don’t force it. Just let it happen. Whatever it ends up being is kind of what you have to live with. It’s not as bad as it seems. It is hard at first.
Mom: Would you recommend talking to their parents when they are feeling certain things?
Ryanne: Yes. It’s better to be more open. Don’t feel like you need to hide things, just because they have things they are trying to work through. Be open about how you feel and then they can take it all into consideration. It makes it a little easier when you are more open about how you feel about everything.
Mom: So would you recommend therapy or talking to their school counselor?
Ryanne: Ohhh yeah! Big time.
Mom: If you had advice to give to parents who are divorced what would you say?
Ryanne: It’s not your fault it didn’t work out. Don’t put your kids in the middle. Your kids will resent you for it. Include them, but don’t include them.
Mom: Well, I always feel bad. It’s the biggest source of guilt I have in my life that you and Austin have divorced parents.
Ryanne: At least we know you guys are happier with someone else than together. It doesn’t feel like we are a burden, because we don’t have to feel like you are only together because of us. That’s a good feeling.
Mom: Do you love your mom even though she’s screwed up a thousand times?
Ryanne: Screwed up?
Mom: Yeah…I’ve made tons of mistakes. Do you love me anyways?
Ryanne: Ummmmm [pause then laughs] Of course. You are my emotions coach.
Mom: I’m your emotions coach?
Ryanne: Do you remember that? [laughing]
Mom: Yes, I remember.
Mom: If you could have one magical power what would it be?
Ryanne: Shape shifting. I could shape shift into anybody else who has a power that I wanted. I could make myself small, so when there was a zombie apocalypse I could hide in a mailbox. I could eat a saltine cracker when I’m big, and then when I became small again I would be full for weeks. I’ve thought this through. I have it all planned man.
Mom: If you had to lay in a pit of snakes or pit of spiders what would you choose?
Ryanne: I have a question for you. Are you Satan?
Mom: [Laughing] What would you choose?
Mom: I have another one. If you had to kiss your Uncle Jeff’s toes or lick the toilet seat in a porta potty what would you choose?
Ryanne: Top side or underneath?
Ryanne: I’d have to lick my Uncle Jeff’s toes. This is probably the only time I’d ever say that.
Mom: Pizza or burgers?
Mom: Ice cream or cookies?
Ryanne: Ice cream.
Mom: Your mom’s rosemary chicken or moldy cheese?
Ryanne: [Laughing] Oooh…if you asked me that a couple years ago I’d have to say moldy cheese, but today I’d say rosemary chicken.
Mom: Teen Wolf or American Horror Story?
Ryanne: It’s like you are tearing me apart here. My two favorite shows. American Horry Story, because it has a little more gore.
Mom: If you had to tell the world the best things about yourself what would you say???
[Wayyyyy too long of a pause]
Ryanne: Don’t worry my room is underneath this pile of dirt.
Mom: That’s not the best thing about yourself!!!!
Ryanne: I don’t know.
Mom: Sure you do.
Ryanne: I’m considerate.
Mom: You are very considerate.
Ryanne: I’m humble. I don’t know…..
Mom: Ryanne!!! You’re talented. You’re beautiful.
Ryanne: I’m really good with makeup
Mom: You are really good with makeup. You’re smart.
Ryanne: I’m a really good listener.
Mom: You are a good listener. You’re strong. Right?
Mom: I’m sure as a sixteen year old girl you don’t always feel like you’re strong, but you are very strong. You stick up for things you believe in.
You’re an amazing cousin. You’re a good sister. A good daughter.
Ryanne: I'm a great bum. I would make THE BEST hobo.
Mom: Alright…that’s a wrap.
We did forget, my dear Ryanne, you have an AMAZING sense of humor and you are the most courageous person I know.
Love you!!! Thank you for being a good sport.