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Bravotv.com: What was it about Shannon that reminded you of your mom?
Emily Simpson: My mother and father divorced when I was 6, and my sister was 3. My dad left my mom for another woman. My mother never recovered from it. As a child, my mother cried a lot, had irregular sleep patterns where she was up all night and slept all day. She spent hours on the phone with friends crying and discussing my dad. She had trouble handling everyday life. She talked a lot about my father and blamed him for all of her troubles. My mother has obviously suffered from severe depression and still does to this day. Right before my grandmother (my mother’s mother) died in 2012, my grandmother told me her only regret in life was that she didn’t get my mom the therapy and help she needed to better equip her in dealing with her depression.
Based on my own personal experiences, I noticed a lot of similar behavior patterns between Shannon and my mom. Both suffered a traumatic divorce, which hurt them deeply. Such a comparison was simply based upon circumstances going on in my life currently, and things I dealt with as a child. This comparison was in no way meant to be malicious or unkind, nor was it “unethical” or “unconscionable.” Let’s be honest here: Shannon compared Shane to her ex, David, without ever meeting Shane. I’m simply making a comparison based upon what I am seeing firsthand. Witnessing Shannon’s behavior in Jamaica just made me hope that she is getting the help that she needs to have a happy and fulfilling life and to be able to move forward positively. She has such great things going on in her life, I just hope she can focus on those.
Bravotv.com: What made you break down after Gina got that phone call from her mom?
ES: When Gina received the phone call from her mom, a lot of pain that I had been dealing with regarding my mother just bubbled up. Gina was aware of the circumstances that I had been dealing with over the past year with my mother, so she knew that I was really hurting. My mother had become so severely depressed that for the past year she has not spoken to me or my sister, or anyone for that matter. She retreated to her house and would not leave, would not let anyone visit, and there was no communication at all with anyone. We tried writing her letters, but she would not read them. I had no idea if she would come out of this dark depression or not, so I really felt as if I had no mother. Gina’s fun and light-hearted phone call with her mom just reminded me of the pain and uncertainty of my own relationship with my mother, and all the pain just surfaced. I have to say that having Gina there with me at that moment was a huge consolation and source of comfort.
I feel like we left Jamaica with a lot of uncertainty. I know that Shannon and Tamra “made up,” but I’m not sure how genuine it really was. I think that there still may be unresolved issues between them. I know that I really got the opportunity to know Kelly better, and we really connected on the Jamaica trip. I’m excited to just keep moving forward and see where our friendship takes us. Finally, the vision of Vicki twerking in that see-through outfit will forever be engraved in my mind!
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