"It was definitely difficult to see a lot of it played back, but I have to say that I'm really proud of myself for coming full circle and having the courage to walk in there," Jessica told ET's Rachel Smith. "It was a big decision for me to go back on the show. It was something that I wanted to leave in the past, but I felt like I wanted to tell my story and getting through the past year and a half."
"I really had to rely on myself and a lot of strong people around me," she added. "I thought I owed it to everyone to walk back in there and kind of speak my peace."
Jessica, who fell hard for Barnett in the pods, tried to make amends with her former crush and his wife, Amber, by giving them an anniversary gift: a Tiffany's bag with champagne glasses. Barnett chose not to accept the gift, however, making things extremely awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved.
"I really didn't [expect an issue]. It took me by surprise," Jessica confessed, admitting that she took the present home and kept it for herself. "I come to parties with gifts and the first thing I wanted to do was address them. It's their party, it's their celebration."
"Obviously I knew they're not my biggest fans. It was on my heart to approach them and let them know, 'Hey, so much time has passed. I'm happy for y'all,'" she continued. "I've worked through all my emotions. I've been put through it in the press and I've moved on a long time ago from that. So yeah, I handed them the gift and I didn't expect this. Probably most awkward moment of my entire life. I'm just standing there, holding out this bag, and [Barnett] just wouldn't grab the bag. It was quite embarrassing."
Jessica revealed that she has not had any communication with Amber or Barnett since the party.
"I don't have their information and they've blocked me on social media, so I don't have a way to really get to them," she shared. "They've blocked me, so I can't see anything that they post."
"I really don't have anything negative to say to them," she added. "Hopefully they can come to a place where they can recognize that I do exist in this world. I think that was probably the most hurtful thing."
Since season 1 of Love is Blind wrapped, Jessica has struck up a romance with Benjamin McGrath, a foot and ankle surgeon from California who goes by "Doctor Ben" on Instagram. Amber claimed in her own interview with ET that Jessica's new beau was messaging Barnett, saying, "That was just really an uncomfortable situation. Neither of them have moved on from us."
"Yes, that is true," Jessica confirmed to ET. "Ben gets very protective over me. Him knowing the truth ... he was very involved in that. He was like, 'Babe, how can we fix this?' He's just always wanted people to see me for the me that he sees."
"I can't even remember what the context of that was but he did message her. I didn't know about it and afterwards he was like, 'Babe, I did something,'" she continued. "He thought I was going to be upset but I thought that it was actually really sweet that he was trying. He was like, 'I just wanted to problem solve. I just wanted to fix this for you.'"
Jessica said she purposely didn't bring Ben with her to After the Altar because they agreed it would be best for her to go alone.
"I love our relationship. As much as I'd love to share it, the hatred that I got from that first show, it was hard but I could also see it for what it was," she explained. "If I had people commenting on my relationship I would take that very hard, so it's not something we want to put on public display. Also, the thing that was more important for us was for me to walk back into that room of people alone. Because the narrative that I'd like to try to flip is that happiness is a relationship, or happiness ends in marriage and a family."
"The last year, though I love my relationship and it's been really great to have, I got through on my own accord and standing in the mess myself," she added. "So it was really important to me, and to him, that I was able to walk in there alone. Because I think that's the better story ... I saved myself. It was important to me to show up in that way."
Jessica told ET that despite all the reignited drama with Amber and Barnett, she and Ben have moved on and are focusing on the positive. She revealed they've been together for a year and a half now, recently moved in together in the suburbs of Los Angeles and have already discussed the possibility of getting married someday.
"We're building a foundation. Rushing into marriage in 30 days for me didn't work," she joked. "The initial show, Ben kind of saw through some of the pieces that I think were kind of hard to see through. He's been my biggest supporter every step of the way."