unappealing, Jackie refuses to admit defeat and chooses neither
With help from her remaining supporter, Eddie, Jackie
decides to leave New York with an abundance of pills and go to
Florida. Her irrational, last-minute escape plan fails when Jackie
gets into a car accident and the police discover her plethora of pills
in her vehicle. Her escape attempt epitomizes the
unconventionality of Jackie’s middle adulthood because she has
chosen herself and her addiction above all else. She has disregarded
the notion integrating the private and public spheres of her life and
choosing what is best for her two daughters as well as for her
career. Instead, she chooses to abandon any and all stability in her
life by pretending her problems do not exist (another way of
compartmentalizing) and going to Florida because, in her mind,
this is Jackie’s last possible way to privilege her drug addiction over
the other spheres. Compartmentalization allows the avoidance of
negative self-attributes (Thomas, et al. 729). Jackie is willing to
leave her job and family behind before admitting that she is using
drugs to her coworkers. Midlife is characterized by a period of
emotional stability with an ideal work-life balance (Kessler, Foster,
Webster, and House 310-311), but Jackie can no longer relate to
either of these aspects of her life, both of which were once very
important to her. Instead, Jackie is forced to reconfigure her
compartmentalization when she is jailed after the accident because
of the possession of the pills. After going through a forced detox,
Jackie is released from jail and uses this opportunity to her
advantage. Instead of telling her family she was in jail, she tells
them she had been in rehab. Finally, her work conflict cannot be
compartmentalized, and she is left with no choice but to enter the
diversion program. After being stripped from the majority of her
nursing duties, she becomes focused and determined to keep her
nursing license and her job.
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