“It was a little awkward for her.”
Amber Portwood is making “baby steps” when it comes to repairing her relationship with her daughter, Leah.
On Tuesday’s new episode of “Teen Mom OG,” Portwood first revealed that she didn’t hear anything from her kid after sending an emotional apology video to her on last week’s show. The apology did, however, spark conversations with her ex (and Leah’s dad) Gary Shirley.
“I don’t know what to do anymore. I’m still trying, but it’s very unwelcoming, that’s all I can say,” Portwood told her producer when asked how things were between her and her daughter. “I sent a video apology and I didn’t get a response. I got something from Gary that day saying they watched it.”
When asked what she hoped to accomplish by sending the video, she said, “They would see the raw emotion of a human being that is pouring their heart out. I just want my relationship with my daughter. She’s losing time with her mom and she’s not wanting time with her mom.”
Over at Gary’s home, he and his wife Kristina talked about Leah’s reaction to the video. On last week’s episode, Leah made it clear she still didn’t want any kind of relationship with her mom, who she feels abandoned her when she was growing up by going to rehab and spending five years in prison.
“So Amber called me up, she apologized to me about everything and then I did let her know that Leah had seen the video,” Gary relayed to his wife. “She said, ‘Did she say anything?’ [I said] ‘No, not really. She did say she didn’t want to respond.'”
While Gary said the video didn’t move Leah because Amber has “just accumulated so many things that are hard to forget,” he still felt like “it’s a start” to mend fences. Kristina agreed, saying she had already forgiven Amber for the nasty things she’s said about her and adding, “there just comes a time where you move forward.”
Gary decided it would be okay to invite Amber and her son James over to see Leah. He acknowledged that his daughter may “still need time,” before worrying that even if they do make progress, Portwood would just mess it up again.
“My biggest fear is we’re gonna fix this and it’s a matter of time, because if her relationship isn’t repaired with Leah, it’s gonna be like, ‘Okay, you’re still mad at everything and you’re gonna take it out on us,'” he added. “If I could have it my way, I’d just be done with it, but that’s not the case. We have a kid together and we have to make sure that kid’s happy and healthy.”
Speaking with her producer later, Amber said she was surprised to get a call from her ex inviting her and little James over. She said she was happy he reached out, as it’s what she had “been waiting for” and “what I wanted.”
“I can’t wait to see Leah,” she added. “Don’t care if she looks at me, rolls her eyes and goes upstairs. I don’t give a f—, as long as I see her and say, ‘I love you, bye.’ We’re still moving somewhere. It just takes time. She’s not going to hate me forever.”
When asked whether she truly believed Leah “hated” her, Amber acknowledged that there was a lot of “pain” there and “a lot of not understanding” on Leah’s behalf. She claimed she was around, but she simply “wasn’t the best” version of herself, a version who was “self-medicating” with drugs. “But you can’t explain that to a kid,” she added.
Saying it had been “months” since they last saw each other, Amber was excited to hopefully “move forward” with Gary, Kristina and Leah. She knew these were “baby steps,” but was hopeful their three children could still get together with each other and prove “that you can get through things.”
“You just have to move on and it’s our duty to stop talking s— about each other in the end, even though there’s a lot of s— to talk about,” she added.
Unfortunately for viewers, the visit to Gary’s had to happen off-camera, since Amber is not allowed to film with her son James and he was present. In a confessional, she said she loved seeing Leah with her brother and expressed her desire again to “work to build our relationship back.”
The episode ended with Amber calling up her own mother after the visit, saying that, overall, “it really felt kind of fine.”
“With Leah, it was a little awkward for her for me being there. But I think with time, it will be a little better,” she added, before explaining how she tried to relate to her daughter by explaining her own issues with her mom.
“I just tried to explain to her, I’ve been there before, but now my mom’s my best friend. You can hate me right now, that’s okay. I told her that’s okay,” she added. “I understand. She tried to say certain things, once again, I wasn’t there for 12 years. And I think again, ugh. I told her there’s no excuse. I still love you, I think about you all the time. “
Saying things with Gary and Kristina were also “fine,” she believed that, “if we stay on track,” things will start to stabilize.
“Teen Mom OG” airs Tuesdays on MTV.