After a quickie marriage and surprise pregnancy at the end of last year, followed by the airing of Teen Mom 2 season four documenting her descent into heroin addiction, Jenelle has repeatedly claimed that she has stopped using drugs and is working to regain custody of three-year-old Jace. But her pattern of break-ups, make-ups, and man-swapping has been established for years on TV, and her arrest record has continued to grow even in 2013. In her NINTH arrest this April she racked up her most serious charges yet, including another for assault and one for possession of heroin with intent to distribute! Yet the 21-year-old has bragged to have been sober since November, and her new boyfriend is glowingly said to be of better repute than her last love interests (though still of questionable character). The question begs to be asked – to what extent is Jenelle sober?
Most notably, Jenelle has continued her pattern of complaining about random medical issues, visiting hospitals and undergoing numerous tests, and lamenting her misery hours before tweeting about going out with friends. This reeks of drug-seeking behavior, and is supported by Jenelle’s recent post indignantly whining about not being given a prescription for a somewhat suspicious cough. Her symptoms have been pointed out to be similar to those of individuals smoking heroin, most disturbingly including coughing up blood. Recent videos uploaded to Jenelle’s vine account showed her and two friends (including Courtland’s baby mama – weird!) looking obscenely stoned and rolling a blunt in a motel bathroom. Not to mention she admitted to smoking weed a few weeks ago (d’oh!). With the court date for her newest drug charges being continued until July, Jenelle is clearly enjoying her freedom while it lasts, even traveling out of state for social events.
The verdict? It is absurd for Jenelle to be claiming sobriety since November, unless she thinks sobriety means not getting blitzed before breakfast. After all, when a fan questioned her decision to marry Courtland in December, she replied that they were “on drugs” at the time and so their judgment had been compromised – busted! Her incessant social media use definitely makes her dubious claims easy to investigate, and it is pretty clear that she is still abusing substances, even if she has quit the heroin (and here’s hoping for Jace and Barbara’s sake that she has, perhaps during the weeks she lived in their home and was rumored to be broke).
Yet if Jenelle expects to be imprisoned for her recent, serious charges, she could quickly spiral out of control, out of desperation to enjoy her freedom while it lasts. MTV seems to be trying to reduce the degree to which they enable her irresponsible vices, and her recent alleged purchase of a home in foreclosure could be the manner in which she is being paid for season five (in lieu of cash she will inevitably burn on drugs and frivolities). But having a home without the restrictions of roommates, a landlord, or her mother to answer to just may allow Jenelle to push her unchecked antics to an even more extreme level. Her bizarre friendships cycling from sisterhood to animosity have continued, with Tori and Courtland’s baby mama Taylor currently enjoying their relationships’ honeymoon stages (conveniently as filming begins). In an even crazier twist, the new boyfriend Nathan is rumored to be gay due to his Craigslist postings and “modeling,” and is even suspected by some to be an MTV plant intending to keep her away from drugs. His influence has not brought Jenelle’s life into normality despite her claims of such, since they’ve moved in together after just weeks of dating, and his ex-girlfriend says he was still in a relationship with her when he first hooked up with Jenelle at the beginning of June.
I have followed the “Teen Moms” for years, and Jenelle has been one of the most interesting to observe from a sociological perspective. Sadly, we have seen her engage in riskier and riskier behaviors, while constantly declaring she is on the right track. On the surface, things have seemed to be improving for her since her April arrest, but in my opinion, now is one of the most dangerous times in Jenelle’s life. Nothing about her friendships or relationships are normal, and her misguided fans continue to give her constant positive reinforcement for her wholly inappropriate behaviors. She spends hours on social media daily, sharing weirdly intimate pictures of her and her lovers and touting the strength of their bonds. But she has continually neglected forming a bond with her own son, and does not seem to be ready to give up her dramatic, attention-seeking behavioral patterns. Jenelle very well may have quit heroin, especially if her money ran low after her arrest and subsequent court fees (for her sexy, magical attorney Dustin, YUM). But she is still addicted to drama, relationships, and attention from fans, and it looks like she’ll have more free time to continue these patterns with MTV filming another season of Teen Mom 2. Until Jenelle has real responsibilities to occupy her time, she will keep stimulating herself with the constant chaos and become more accustomed to such unhealthy behaviors as a part of her and Jace’s lives.