“Teen Mom OG” star Amber Portwood posted a picture with her nephews on Thanksgiving, and while the post could seem innocuous, some viewers interpreted Portwood’s caption as being a dig at her 13-year-old daughter, Leah.
“The love me and my nephews have is like we never parted,” Portwood captioned a picture with her two nephews on Thanksgiving 2021. “Wish I could show more off the fam but they need some anonymity. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.”
The mother-daughter duo has had a strained relationship since Portwood ditched Leah’s 12th birthday party. The drama was exacerbated when Portwood went on an infamous Instagram live rant and accused Kristina Anderson Shirley, Leah’s stepmom, of being a “whore” and a “homewrecker” in March 2021.
Chatter about Portwood indirectly throwing shade at her teenage daughter bubbled on Reddit.
“I wonder how Leah feels seeing this,” an original poster wrote. Dozens of fans came through with answers to the OP’s question.
“Amber would totally post part of the chorus from good 4 u to try to shade Leah,” read one comment.
“What a beeeotch,” said a second social media user. “She’s taking a swipe at Leah being the anom fam. Yes, your mature daughter wants you to embarrass her with your stupid posts and rants.”
A third person claimed Portwood’s post was an attempt to make Leah envious of her cousins. “This reads like a scorned ex-lover trying to make the guy who dumped them ‘jealous’ by taking photos with new guys.. wow,” they said.
Gary Shirley Went to Therapy With Portwood to Learn About Her Diagnoses
On the season finale of “Teen Mom OG,” Leah’s father, Gary Shirley, attended a therapy session with her mother. The goal was for Shirley to get a deeper understanding of her mental health.
“I’m glad Gary’s coming with me to my psychiatry session but I hope he takes it seriously,” Portwood said in a voice-over. “I want my relationship to be better with Leah so I need Gary to understand my mental illnesses.”
Portwood’s therapist, Dr. Ronald Stachler, explained that Portwood has a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder.
“Most of them have a history of trauma in their childhood,” he said. “The major issue with a borderline personality disorder is a fear of abandonment.”
Portwood’s primary diagnosis is bipolar disorder.
“There are times that she feels very depressed and down and there are other times when she’s, um, got a lot of energy and kinda up,” Dr. Stachler said. “People who live with people who have bipolar disorder, it can be very confusing for them, because they often don’t know what to expect day-to-day.”
Shirley Said Portwood Embarrassed Their Daughter
One of the things Shirley brought up in therapy was Portwood’s Instagram posts, which were “embarrassing” for their daughter.
“I actually gave my Instagram over to my manager,” Portwood told Shirley. “A lot of us — people like me — it’s like burning bridges left and right and that’s something that I don’t want to do with Leah.
“I was having a really manic episode and you go through mania for a couple of weeks, you talk a lot of shit and like, you just feel horrible afterward,” she said about her Instagram rants. “And when you get down, you’re like, oh man how do I fix this? Can I fix this? How do you explain that to a 12-year-old.”
Portwood said Leah probably feels like her mother left her behind.
“I think she feels really abandoned, um, even though I never meant to do that,” the “Teen Mom OG” star said. “But I also think that she doesn’t understand that a lot of the things that I did was for her.”
Dr. Stachler asked Portwood to explain what she meant by that.
“Well, I kept her away from a lot of things that if she was around, she would be a different child,” the Indiana native said. “There was times where Gary believes that I didn’t want to pick her up because of a man and really I would be getting, ya know, a nice bruise on my face that I was trying to put makeup over and just couldn’t cover it.”
“I thought I was protecting her but at the same time — ya know, people say that well you could have left certain people but it was really hard,” Portwood added, not clarifying which of her previous partners she was referring to.