The release of Teen Mom 2 star Leah Messer's memoir has been jarring, to say the least.
Fans have become aware that Leah's past is even more painful than they ever realized.
The mother of three daughters also revealed for the first time publicly that she aborted Jeremy Calvert's baby and nearly took her own life afterward.
Heavy stuff, to put it mildly. And that wasn't even all of it.
In the book, Leah opens up about her addictions, stating that there were times when she was so high she didn't even realize she was on camera.
Leah also says that as a young teen, she was put in situations that most of us could never fathom. Like beating up some girl in a real-life fight club.
Or performing sex acts with an older boy, with her mom's knowledge, and even encouragement. Yes, this is the kind of upbringing the MTV star had.
Please be warned that the following article contains graphic descriptions of childhood sexual trauma. But it's important that her story be heard.
A Painful Past
Leah Messer has always had a complicated relationship with her mother, Dawn Spears.
Worse Than We Thought
Now, Leah is opening up for the first time about the abuse she endured during her harrowing upbringing.
Sharing Her Pain
Leah's book won't be published until May 5, but The Ashley has obtained an advance copy and is the first to report on a traumatic childhood incident Leah describes in her debut memoir.
A Tumultuous Home Life
Leah sets the stage by revealing that she had already lost her virginity at age 13, and her mother was going through a rough patch in her marriage with her husband Lee.
A Lack of Boundaries
Messer says that on the nights when Lee would go out drinking, her mother would stay behind and hang out with Leah and her friends.
A Painful Memory
Leah says she was often embarrassed by Dawn's behavior, particularly on the night that she suggested the group of teens engage in a game of spin the bottle.
"She would let us have friends over and she’d hang out with all of us,” Leah writes of her high school years.
Trying to Understand
“I think because she never went to high school, or even got to be a normal teenager, there was a part of her that felt like she had missed out on something," she continues.
Repeating the Excuses
"She wasn’t even allowed to talk to boys before she met my dad and got pregnant with me, so she liked hanging out with our friends and being around that energy,” Leah writes.
“Around that time, she and Lee were going through a rough patch,” Leah states in her book.
“She had started seeing a therapist who diagnosed her as bipolar (with depression and anxiety), but she wouldn’t take her meds so she was totally unpredictable," Messer recalls.
Ups and Downs
"One second she’d be flying high and the next she’d spiral into a dark place," Leah writes.
"I think she also just didn’t know how to handle having teenage daughters, so she’d either be so strict it was embarrassing or she’d want to hang out and act like she was the young cool mom— which was also embarrassing," Leah adds.
"There was no middle ground; it was always one extreme or the other,” she continues.
The Fateful Night
Leah recalls one night when her stepfather was out on the town, and she had invited several friends over, including an older teen named Mike.
Diffusing the Situation
"Mike spun, and I was relieved when the bottle didn’t land on me. When I spun, it landed on his brother, so I gave him a peck on the cheek and we all laughed," Leah remembers.
"When it was Mike’s turn to go again, the bottle landed in the empty space next to me. There was an awkward pause and he went to spin it again.”
A Dark Turn
“Before he could, my mom leaned over and pushed the bottle so that it was pointing right at me. I shook my head and said, ‘No way,’ but she started wrestling with me and telling me I had to do it,” Leah writes. “I was laughing, because I thought she was just teasing me, but then she started pushing both of us towards the bedroom I shared with [my sister] Victoria.
“The next thing I knew I was in the room with Mike and my mom was holding the door shut from the other side so I couldn’t get out. I remember feeling cornered, like a trapped animal,” Leah goes on. “I didn’t want to kiss Mike, much less have sex with him, but that’s exactly what happened.”
All Dawn's Doing
Leah notes that she does not blame Mike for the incident, as she feels that he was also uncomfortable and felt pressured into the situation.
“He didn’t force himself on me,” Leah writes. “I think he was actually as nervous and uncomfortable as I was. At one point he even asked me, ‘Are you sure, Leah? Because this is weird.’ I wasn’t sure (and it was definitely weird), but I still hadn’t learned how to say no. So I just shrugged and said, ‘I guess.’ It was easier to just let it happen than to think about why my mom had pushed me into that room in the first place.
“We were in there for maybe 10 minutes and it was the grossest sex I’ve ever had. He was all sweaty and grunting… When it was over, I felt totally ashamed of myself, but I knew there was no way I could take back what I had just done. Coming out of that room was the most humiliating walk of shame," she recalls.
The Final Humiliation
Leah notes that her mother found the entire incident humorous, writing, “I remember my mom laughing as we walked out. Then I think she just lost interest because she went to bed shortly after.”
We commend Leah for speaking so candidly about such a deeply painful incident from her past.
For her part, Dawn has yet to respond to the book, but she stated last year that she's accepted the idea of her daughter writing it.
The Healing Process
"I have no objections against [Leah] writing the book," Dawn said at the time. "Everyone is going to have something to learn from it, and if it takes our lives for other people’s eyes to be open with their families then I’m all for it.”