You don't say!
In the past seven seasons of 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom we’ve seen the girls of the show grow up in front of our eyes. Some, admittedly more than others, but most of them have come a long way from their teenage years. In our opinion, the woman that’s made the biggest positive 180 is Amber Portwood. We were there for her drug addiction, prison admission and release, and all of the dramatics surrounding her and Matt’s relationship but she’s cleaned up her life and attitude and we are so proud of her for it.
There are a lot of events in her life that the MTV cameras weren’t around to catch however. Amber covered a lot of them in her book Never Too Late and after we read it, we had to share these details with you all!
We met Amber on 16 & Pregnant when she was pregnant with Leah, but never really learned about who she was before her pregnancy. She wrote that she had a normal and happy childhood until her younger sister Candace tragically died at only two weeks old of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
“After Candace died, my family started to deteriorate. That was the start of the bad times that turned everything into a blur in my memory,” she wrote. It continued to say how her parents developed drinking problems, and her parent’s relationship soon turned into one big fight.
Amber’s admitted that as a young child she “just felt wrong,” and was battling depression before she could even understand what depression was. The poor elementary schooler attempted her first suicide when she was just 11 years old.
“No one was home when I did it. I just took a cord into the bathroom and hung it on the fan in the ceiling, and I looped it around my neck […] I just leaned into it and picked up my feet. It’s so hazy that I only remember certain details, like feeling tons of pressure behind my ears and then waking up on the floor. […] I didn’t try again, I just kind of chalked it up to a failure. And I couldn’t get the fan back up right because the screw was stripped, so after that it was always kind of messed up and made this weird sound when it was on.”
Meeting Gary Shirley
We vaguely were told how Amber met Gary on 16 and Pregnant but Amber explained their relationship in greater detail. She knew he was her older brother Shawn’s friend, but first met him in the school library after being sent there to catch up on homework.
“I didn’t even see his face, but I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh my god, this guy is huge. He’s gotta be the biggest guy in the school.'” A week later, they were officially introduced when Amber was home sick from school and Shawn and Gary came over. One thing we noticed about the book is that Amber made it a point of never saying Gary’s name. She only refers to him as “future-fiance,” “fiance,” and then “ex-fiance,” or “Leah’s father.”