It's been a roller coaster year for Jenelle Evans, including her firing from Teen Mom 2 and split from David Eason

By Natalie Stone
December 19, 2019 03:05 PM
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New year, new Jenelle Evans.

In celebration of her 28th birthday on Thursday, the Teen Mom 2 alumna broke her social media hiatus, which she took after announcing her split from husband David Eason at the end of October.

In honor of her special day, the former MTV personality posted two smiling photos of herself on Instagram.

Sharing a quote from singer Gerard Way, Evans captioned the post, “‘Sometimes you have to kind of die inside in order to rise from your own ashes and believe in yourself and love yourself to become a new person.’ #HappyBirthdayToMe.”

Jenelle Evans
Credit: Jenelle Evans/Instagram

She also received a birthday shout-out from her ex Nathan Griffith, with whom she shares son Kaiser, 5.

Griffith, a personal trainer, said in a sentimental tweet that he’s noticed the positive changes Evans has made in her life.

“I know the critics will criticize and I know the ‘hatters’ aka haters will hate but this is honestly the first time in a while that I’ve seen @PBandJenelley_1 make serious and positive changes in her life and thinking,” he wrote. “I’m so proud of the person you’re becoming. HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”

Although Griffith and Evans haven’t always gotten along, he tweeted last month that the pair now has a “healthy” relationship.

“I am so appreciative to finally have a healthy relationship with @PBandJenelley_1. Something we should of had 3-4 years ago. Especially one, that everyone, is supportive with,” he said.

Nathan Griffith, Jenelle Evans
Credit: Nathan Griffith/Twitter; Bruce Glikas/Getty

The mother of three, who also shares 10-year-old son Jace with ex Andrew Lewis and 2-year-old daughter Ensley with Eason, has had a roller coaster year.

Evans and Eason temporarily lost custody of their children in May after he shot and killed their family dog, Nugget, for biting Ensley in the face. (Evans was fired from Teen Mom 2 in May in the wake of the scandal.) Two months later, Evans regained custody.

Speaking with PEOPLE Now exclusively in September, Evans said that her marriage to Eason was “stronger than ever.”

“I mean, especially because of the [child protective services] thing that happened. We had to be so strong during that,” she said. “It was so hard to just hear accusations as a parent that aren’t true.”

As Evans reflected on the difficult two months that her children were separated from her and Eason, she began to cry.

“Having to go through that as a couple, sorry,” Evans told PEOPLE Now, tearing up. “Not being around your kids for two months for no reason and there was no evidence or anything against us. And that’s why it was ultimately dismissed.”

During the PEOPLE Now interview, she also defended Eason, who confirmed for the first time that he killed Nugget and explained his reasoning for doing so.

“It was a situation where my daughter, her health, her safety was in danger,” he said. “The dog was aggressive. Yes, she might not be huge or whatever, but you know when a dog bites a child on the face more than one time, then it should never be around the child again. If you give the dog up for adoption, one day it’s going to be around children again.”

Jenelle Evans, David Eason
Credit: Nancy Rivera/GC Images; Brian Ach/Getty Images

Coming to Eason’s defense, Evans said at the time: “David has grown up in the country lifestyle — he hunts, he fishes. The way he was raised is really different than a lot of other places. We understand that people ares scared of the whole gun thing, [but] they just don’t understand it from David’s perspective.”

But more than one month after the interview, Evans announced her decision to split from Eason on Instagram.

“I’ve mostly kept off social media the past few days because I’ve been focused on making some big life decisions,” she wrote Oct. 31. “I’ve lived my life on camera since I was 17 years old. And a lot of it hasn’t been pretty but it’s been my life. Like anyone else I want what’s best for my kids and I want to be happy. With the time I took away from Teen Mom I’ve started looking at my life differently and I know I need to make changes. I’m starting now.”

While she didn’t specify the reason for the split, she said she has moved out of the house she shared with Eason.

“The kids and I have moved away from David,” she said. “Nobody gets into a marriage expecting it to end but I know that’s what is best for me, and for my kids. Today I have filed papers to start that process.”

She continued: “I appreciate the support from everybody who has asked how I am. Me and my kids are doing great. We need some time to be together. But you’ll hear from us again soon.”

In November, Evans obtained a temporary restraining order against Eason.

“Because of his recent threats, his history of violence, his erratic behavior and his large stockpile of weapons, I am scared for my life and my children’s well-being,” she said in documents obtained by E! News.

The order gives temporary custody to Evans, and “mandates that David will have no contact with Jenelle or the children and will not post about Jenelle on social media or the internet,” the outlet reported. (Eason did not respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment at the time.)