Jeanette Jennings, Jazz Jennings’ loving and devoted mom, has always been supportive of her daughter. A vocal advocate for LGBT rights and trans youth, Jeanette has become a fierce activist over the years on behalf of Jazz.
But recently, Jeanette has been open about her own emotional difficulties in the wake of Jazz’s three gender confirmation surgeries and ongoing mental health symptoms, as well as Jeanette’s father’s recent surgery and serious health problems.
On the Mar. 17 episode of TLC’s I Am Jazz, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Jeanette finally admitted that she was reaching her own emotional and mental limits. What with Jazz’s concerns over attending Harvard and her recent panic attack just before her high school graduation, Jeanette needed to blow off some steam. The mom of four decided to do so in a rather unconventional way…at a strip club with her mom, Jacky, and daughter, Ari Jennings.
Jeanette’s cousin Debbie encouraged Jazz’s mom to take some time to herself
On the latest episode of I Am Jazz, Jeanette said down with her cousin Debbie—who is also a mental health professional who often works with trans patients—to discuss Jazz’s panic attack just before her high school graduation.
“Jazz’s pre-graduation meltdown took a toll on me, and I’m still raw,” Jazz’s mom confessed to Debbie.
The therapist said it seemed like Jazz’s stress had been building for quite some time. “It felt like a pressure cooker kind of an incident,” Debbie said. “When I hugged her, her heart was beating like a trapped rabbit.”
Jeanette told her cousin that Jazz’s anxiety was “taking over.” The I Am Jazz star added that she wasn’t sure how Jazz would be able to control her mental health symptoms on her own at college. “We’re running out of time to nip this in the bud,” Jeanette lamented.
Debbie urged Jeanette to take some time out for herself and take care of her own mental health as well. “I’m concerned about you,” she said. “How are you holding up?”
Jazz’s mom said, frankly, she wasn’t doing well at all. “I feel like I’m a block of ice,” she admitted. “I’m melting, and [Jazz] is picking away at me.”
Jeanette’s cousin worried that Jazz’s mental health and Jeanette’s impending empty-nester status were going to cause her to collapse if she didn’t take better care of herself soon. “All of this has taken quite a toll on Jeanette,” Debbie explained. To Jeanette, she ventured, “So you’re Mama Hen taking care of everybody else. How can we take care of you?”
The I Am Jazz star confessed that she knew she had to take some time out for self-care, and soon. “I do need some me time,” Jeanette agreed. “I do need to blow off some steam. I just don’t know what that is.”
Jazz’s mom and a friend got tipsy and planned to head to a strip club
Over lunch with her friend Kim, Jeanette downed a Cosmopolitan or two, got a little tipsy, and shared similar worries about Jazz’s future and her own mental health.
“[Jazz’s] emotions have been running really high,” Jeanette told Kim. “I hate to see her like this, and all I think about is, what’s she gonna do when we’re not around?”
Kim told TLC producers that she wasn’t surprised Jeanette was struggling just before her fourth and youngest child was set to leave the nest. “Jeanette has so much anxiety, and I can see it,” Kim said. “Part of it is because Jazz has anxiety, and part of it is because her baby is leaving.”
Still, Jeanette carved some time out for an extra Cosmo. “I want to feel numb. I do, I really want to feel numb,” the I Am Jazz star told Kim.
“I love drinking Jeanette, I really do,” Kim laughed as her friend got buzzed.
And Kim had an idea for even more fun with Jeanette. She suggested they take “Mama Jacky” (Jeanette’s mom) and go to a strip club in Florida together.
Jeanette laughingly agreed, but warned Kim that she wanted to see male strippers with at least a little coverage. “I don’t want the full Monty!” she exclaimed, adding that she hated when strippers “rubbed up against you and they had hair. “Remember my bachelorette party?” she joked. “That was gross!”
The ‘I Am Jazz’ star had a wild night out at a strip club to relieve her stress
Jeanette took Kim up on her offer and headed out to an all-male strip club in South Florida with her mom, her oldest daughter Ari, and several of her friends.
Jacky was the first to jump up on the stage for a lap dance from the scantily-clad men. “She’s a little too excited to jump on that stage,” Jeanette told producers.
“I just tossed myself into the arena,” Jacky laughed. “I probably also needed a night out for 70 something years!”
Jazz’s mom said she couldn’t believing she was letting loose and lining up for lap dances with her mom and daughter. “I can’t unsee that ever again, it’s burned into my brain,” she joked.
“I like that we all, quote, let it hang out,” Jeanette added, explaining that she hadn’t had a night of pure fun and partying in what felt like forever because of all the recent stress with her youngest daughter.
“I wanted to go out, I wanted to let loose for a night, and I got more than I bargained for,” the I Am Jazz star said. “I laughed till I peed, and that’s what I wanted, not to have to worry about Jazz.”