“My father, he’s sick,” Jackie, 27, told Entertainment Weekly on Friday, March 24. “He has cancer, so I have to take care of him when I go home every weekend. I make sure that my parents are good, the bill is paid — my dad can’t work no more. I have a lot of family stuff that I have to tend to.”
The dental assistant explained: “Family always comes first. And also, my brother being released from prison, it’s like I have another person to take care of.”
Fans first learned of Jackie’s family turmoil during episode 4 of Love Is Blind, which is currently streaming on Netflix. During the “Playing With Fire” episode, newly engaged couple Jackie and Marshall, 27, explored Mexico as a way to get to know each other outside the pods.
Their playful lunch date, however, quickly turned sour when viewers saw Jackie start crying in their hotel while thinking about her family back home. She noted that she was afraid she’d push Marshall away because her loved ones aren’t “perfect” and proceeded to have another meltdown after locking herself in the bathroom.
“My life is not for someone who can’t be up to par in supporting me, and just making sure that you understand my life and knowing that this is always going to be a part of me,” Jackie told EW after fans saw Marshall try and support her on camera. “That was an emotional moment for me because I didn’t feel like, at that moment, Marshall was up to par and ready for all of the reality that I have back home.”
The reality star further explained her self-proclaimed “mental breakdown” via Instagram on Monday, March 27.
“My father at the time was fighting Stage 2 head and neck cancer [and] had a feeding tube in his stomach, had the back of his tongue removed and had 11 cancerous lymph nodes removed from his neck a few months before I filmed the show,” Jackie wrote at the time. “I come home every weekend to make sure I pay his bills, clean the house, and make sure my father and mother are good.”
She confessed: “I felt guilty being happy and enjoying my time in Mexico because my family deserves time away. My ‘mental breakdown’ in Mexico was all the emotions of being head of the house, having my family depending on me and having the weight of my emotions and feelings all colliding at once.”
The Washington resident added that she “will always take care of my father, cancer will never take him from me.” While Marshall told EW on Friday that it was “not my place” to talk about Jackie’s hardships, he revealed he was “glad” he could be there “to help her through that.”
All-new episodes of Love Is Blind season 4 drop on Netflix every Friday.