Teen Mom: The Next Chapter viewers are still watching Amber Portwood’s latest custody loss play out in real time.
We have watched Gary and Kristina process the news. They have a lot of sympathy for her.
But loss of any kind hits people a little at a time.
For Amber, seeing James’ empty room was a stark, visual reminder of everything that she has lost.
We only had seconds to see Amber Portwood in the promo for next week’s Teen Mom: The Next Chapter.
As the teaser begins, we see Amber already looking less than enthusiastic.
On edge, she approaches the now-empty space. Gary Shirley, her ex, is with her.
A few things remain behind in the modest sized room. A standing fan, a mattress on the floor. A few odds and ends.
There are folded towels and blankets. There are also a few articles of clothing.
A forgotten (or perhaps simply too small) article of a small child’s clothing left behind on the floor makes for a striking image.
“This was James’ room,” Amber mutters during the scene. She sounds almost hollow in the moment.
Then, Amber being Amber, we being to hear her let loose a string of obscenities.
We don’t know more yet. And, barring a sneak peek clip to give us further context, we won’t know more until next week’s episode.
Amber is clearly feeling a lot of things in the moment. Sadness. Anger. Helplessness.
From her point of view, she has made tremendous strides in terms of her personal life and her mental health.
Repeatedly, Amber has expressed the view that not only should people recognize this progress, but reward her for it. Oh, and ignore her past from before she made the progress.
Wanting others to recognize your progress is perfectly reasonable.
Not everyone is going to automatically do this. Often, it takes time for people to truly believe that you’ve changed — and are not just acting like it.
Let’s face it — sometimes, people have a lot of incentives to pretend to be better people than they really are.
But Amber also, at times, seems to feel entitled to rewards for her progress.
It is normal to wish to reap the benefits — from individuals and from society — for the work that you have done.
Life doesn’t always work like that. Sometimes, the personality glow-up itself has to be the reward.
Finally, Amber has repeatedly lashed out at those who bring up her criminal history. Particularly on social media.
Amber Portwood is a domestic abuser. Years ago, she attacked Gary on camera. In 2019, she attacked Andrew.
We of course hope that she continues to work on herself and improve. But nothing can undo the truth about her past behavior. Domestic violence isn’t shoplifting or getting into a bar fight. Some deeds are simply worse than others.
Many feel sympathy for Amber over her custody loss. Her son is now in another state. She is 0 for 2 with her kids.
But not everyone agrees with Amber that this is an injustice or a mistake on the part of family court.
Her sadness is valid. But it does not matter more than James getting his best chance at life in a healthy, safe environment.