Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic Amber Portwood
Amber Portwood is getting real about her strained relationship with her 12-year-old daughter Leah.
During Tuesday's episode of Teen Mom OG, the reality TV star, 31, broke down in tears after revealing that Leah refuses to go to therapy with Portwood to work on mending their relationship.
"It truly breaks my heart that Leah and I are drifting apart," Amber told cameras. "For the past six years, I've been seeing a psychiatrist. I really think if I could go to therapy with Leah, it would bring us closer together. But Gary and Kristina feel differently."
"We've already talked about therapy for Leah, but Gary wasn't for it at all," she told producers. "Therapy is a good thing to get you and your mother back together and having that mediator can get you to open up and understand a bit. I think she'll be happier in life to understand a bit more of what the past was and how I am today. It's okay to have a mom that has been through these things. You shouldn't be ashamed about it. Therapy is something that needs to happen, but there's nothing I can do about it because [Gary] does have primary custody of her."
"I want my daughter back," she added.
Speaking with his wife Kristina, Leah's dad and Amber's ex Gary Shirley said his daughter has "a lot on her plate."
"I talked to Leah last night about seeing if she was open to going to therapy," he said. "I know she's against it, but I told her to think about if it'd be beneficial for her. I'm not going to sit here and make Leah go somewhere because it'll help Amber. How can I encourage Leah to do something she doesn't want to do if her mom's not doing what she needs to do?"
"She has to be receptive to wanting that relationship with her mom," Kristina added.
"Leah's twelve," said Gary. "She's not going to get back those years she's missed. If there's going to be any kind of reuniting or reconciling, it's going to have to be like, Amber really dug deep and really did what she really needed to do to be the mother she needed to be. Make sure you apologize for all the years you've put other people first and haven't put your daughter first."
"Before I'm jumping on the therapy bandwagon, I'm going to give it time and see how Leah feels about it," he concluded. "I want to protect Leah. I want to make sure she's not going to get hurt."
During last week's episode, Amber said she was hurt by Leah's comments made last season. (The pre-teen said Amber "just birthed" her and then "left" her.)
"What she said about me was very hurtful," Amber told her mom.
"Someone is in her ear," the MTV star added, referring to Gary and Kristina, as she fought through tears. "And it's not right."
Having a Facetime session with her doctor during Tuesday's episode, Amber said she had been having a "rough week."
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"I'm more stressed than usual," she said. "I'm trying to figure out a way to fit Leah into a situation that she doesn't want to be in. I think she thought that I abandoned her. I want her to heal from this and move on. I've been waiting on her father to put her through therapy first and then we were going to do therapy together."
"You made really tough decisions for your kids and people will never understand," her doctor responded.
"I can't take away my past," said Amber, who has struggled with substance abuse and mental illness since Leah's birth. "I wouldn't be alive if I didn't make such decisions and Leah hates me for it. I can't fault her for that. I just want her to love me again. I just want her to understand that everything I did was to be alive for her. It wasn't for anything else. If I wouldn't have went away .... I hate my f---ing mental illnesses. I'm just going to keep trying and reaching and praying."
Teen Mom OG airs Tuesdays (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.
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