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Farrah Abraham's visit to Derek Underwood's grave gets unexpected sympathy

Chanel Dubofsky is a fiction writer, journalist and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work on gender, sexuality, religion and reproductive justice has been publishing in Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, The Billfold, The Toast, The ...

Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham manages to win over critics with a look at her past

On Monday's new episode of Teen Mom OG, Farrah brings entirely unexpected tears to the eyes of viewers, who are confused about how to feel. 

More: One Teen Mom divorce, one Teen Mom engagement?

Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham manages to win over critics with a look at her past
Image: MTV

Farrah Abraham has certainly been successful in provoking emotions for 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom viewers throughout her tenure on television. These emotions include anger, confusion, frustration and possibly fear. On Monday's episode of Teen Mom, between Sophia's epic meltdown about not having a father and a visit to Derek's grave, Farrah's situation stirred a new emotion in viewers: sympathy.

More: Farrah Abraham is not the only Teen Mom star who has a sex tape

Hating Farrah seems like it's a full-time job for some people on Twitter, so seeing them express any level of sympathy for her is pretty extraordinary. It was emotional to see Farrah dealing with Sophia's tantrum, especially when it involved the 6-year-old screaming that she wanted to die. The whole situation is a level or two up from last week, when Farrah's biggest issue seemed to be getting kicked out of a party. Derek's absence has been a source of pain for Farrah since her 16 and Pregnant episode, when we learned that they'd been in a relationship when Farrah got pregnant, then broken up and then that Derek was killed in a car accident.

After 16 and Pregnant, though, things got a little murky in regard to Derek. Teen Mom fans expressed their confusion as to what their relationship really was.

Even if someone is terrible and abusive to you, you can still be wrecked when they die. Grief is not black and white, so if Farrah did break up with Derek, she's allowed to feel all her feelings about his death. I seem to remember a story line in the earlier days of Teen Mom in which Farrah cried through several therapy sessions about Derek, how although she and Derek weren't speaking at the time of his death, she had been in love with him, and how her parents weren't at all supportive of her in her grief and instead wanted her to just get over it and move on. Farrah's parents haven't been awesome in many ways — watching the three of them interact can definitely give you the feeling that they'll never forgive Farrah for getting pregnant as a teenager and she'll never be good enough in their eyes.

We might not ever know what really happened with Farrah and Derek, but maybe it doesn't matter. Despite Farrah's abominable behavior, she is a person in pain and is clearly not dealing productively with it. It's good to be able to see her vulnerability sometimes. If nothing else, it's a good reminder that people on reality TV are actual human beings.

More: Amber Portwood pleads not guilty to felony charges

Do you feel badly for Farrah after tonight's episode? What do you think happened between her and Derek?

Teen Mom's Farrah Abraham manages to win over critics with a look at her past
Image: WENN
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