Kailyn Lowry-Marroquin’s tumultuous relationship with mom Suzi Lowry has been a part of her Teen Mom 2 storyline from the very beginning. Still, as Kailyn’s new memoir demonstrates, MTV was only able to show small parts of the difficult mother-daughter dynamic.
In Pride Over Pity, which we obtained this week, Kailyn wrote about realizing at a very young age her mother was an alcoholic.
“I remember being dropped off at friends’ houses and sometimes not getting a phone call for what seemed like days,” Kailyn said of her childhood. “In those time, when she would disappear for days without warning, I’d wonder if I would ever see her again.”
Quickly, Kailyn assumed the adult role in the relationship. She made excuses for her mother’s behavior, cleaned up her post-binge vomit “like Cinderella” and worried about seeing her mom’s name in a newspaper headline. She said child services came and went, but couldn’t intervene because Suzi always provided food, clothing and shelter with the money she earned from working as a bartender.
By Kailyn’s teenage years, her mom was in the regular habit of leaving for days at a time with the boyfriend du jour.
“Without much adult supervision, I got away with anything I wanted to. I had too much pent up anger and too much freedom for a teenager,” Kailyn said of her extracurriculars in high school. “Smoking pot became the hobby I’d never had as a little girl. It made me feel like I was part of a group.”
During her freshman year, Kailyn admitted she gave attitude to “anyone I disagreed with” and regularly got into fights. One particularly physical argument earned her a 10-day suspension. When the year ended, Kailyn said she had gotten into so much trouble at that school there was no way she could make it through the next three years around the same peer groups. For her sophomore year, she moved to Nazereth, Penn.
“As I settled into my new high school, our bad habits followed us,” Kailyn said of herself and her mom. “The freedom to go where I pleased resulted in me smoking consistently, more than ever before. Smoking weed had become my escape from loneliness.”
Within the year, Kailyn got pregnant for the first time. When her mom insisted on an abortion (and then attempted to profit by telling the boy’s parents the procedure was more expensive than it really was), the rift between Kailyn and Suzi grew even deeper.
By the time Kailyn got pregnant with Isaac at the end of her junior year, she didn’t believe her mom deserved to be involved: She and Jo told his parents almost immediately, but didn’t tell her mom she was expecting until she was midway through her pregnancy. Kailyn explained, “Based on the way she handled my last pregnancy, I didn’t trust her to be supportive.”
Having Isaac served as a wakeup call for Kailyn, who stopped smoking pot and graduated from high school early. For years after that, Kailyn hoped her mom would have a similar revelation that it was time to grow up. Now — although she seems to have a sliver of hope — Kailyn’s more realistic.
“I have finally accepted what I feel is the unavoidable truth: My mother will never change… I don’t want my mom in my life until I feel she’s accepted responsibility for how I’ve seen her behave,” Kailyn said. “I will always gladly speak to her if I feel she hasn’t been drinking, but if I hear the slightest bit of a slur, I will set the phone down. I have a choice now.”