Maci Bookout has been trying to keep it together for awhile now.
She's been trying to balance what's best for her son, Bentley, while also trying to keep her distance from Bentley's dad, Ryan Edwards.
Because the guy sucks.
What else is there to say about someone who has been arrested on numerous occasions, been to rehab on multiple occasions and who is now facing a six-figure lawsuit for a recent reckless driving charge?
Ryan clearly has various personal demons that we truly hope he overcomes -- but that doesn't change one basic fact:
He's a bad influence on his 12-year old son.
On previous episodes of Teen Mom OG, Maci has said very simply that her son doesn't want to see his father and that she's trying to respect his wishes.
On this past Tuesday's installment of this same series, meanwhile, Bookout once again clashed with Ryan's parents, Larry and Jen Edwards, over the topic of Bentley being kept away from their damaged offspring.
The main issue at hand?
Bentley's half-brother, Jagger, turning two years old.
"Bentley hasn't seen his dad in a long time, and he's made boundaries to keep his distance until they go to therapy together," said Maci on air of a planned party in honor of this occasion.
"So I'm not sure if he's going to want to go to Jagger's birthday."
Bookout has previously explained how Bentley is talking to a counselor and how she hopes Ryan will someday join the 12-year old in doing so... in order to mend their relationship.
On this episode of the aforementioned MTV series, Bentley and Maci decided that, yes, the former would attend Jagger's party.
They were told by Larry and Jen that the gathering would take place at their home, which made the decision a lot easier.
No concerns in that case about seeing too much of Ryan and/or his wife, Mackenzie, you know?
... Maci later told her husband, Taylor, that she had received a text from Jen that read as follows:
"I got my parties mixed up. The party on the 9th is at Ryan's and Macks, Sunday 11th is for the people who don't want to film."
In other words: After initially claiming Bentley wouldn't need to go to his dad's home for this party, it now turned out that he would have to do so.
Just a simple mistake on Jen's part? Bookout didn't think so.
"She told me on the phone [it was at her house], she told Bentley on the phone, I don't think she got mixed up at all," Maci told Taylor, who echoed his wife's concerns and added:
"He made it very clear to Jen and Larry he didn't want to be around his dad and Mackenzie."
Bentley has never felt comfortable in his father's house, for very understandable reasons.
"He was willing to do it for his brother's birthday, in the most safe environment if he had to be around them, but can he really enjoy it in a physical place that gives him anxiety?" asked Maci of this change in plans.
Continued Bookout of the dilemma:
"This is a lose lose situation. Now he has agreed to go.
"He is going to feel he can't back out, that is going back on something he said he will do and he doesn't like it when people do that to him."
Larry and Jen have rarely gotten along with Maci, even blaming her for Ryan's struggles.
Bookout has tried to maintain her composure throughout their feud, but these latest shenanigans made her want to just go the eff off on Bentley's grandparents.
"I wish I had less self control so I could lose my damn mind and go crazy Maci," she told Taylor.
Overall, Maci has continually insisted that she is NOT keeping Bentley from hanging out with his father.
The child is just old enough now to make his own choices and, well...
“I couldn’t tell you the last time the words ‘I want to see my dad’ came out of his mouth," she said on air a couple weeks ago, adding of her son:
“He definitely wants to still see his brothers and sister, but we spoke with Jen and Larry with Bentley. He told them he doesn’t want to see his dad anymore until he goes to therapy."