Gabrielle Union sat down for the premiere episode of Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind with Taraji’ and opened up about dealing with the PTSD of being a rape survivor.
“For whatever reason, every time I talk about being a rape survivor, people are like [gasp] and then they forget. We are so conditioned that we know what someone looks like who has suffered from PTSD, we believe we know what rape victims look like and it’s not me,” Union, 48, told Henson and Jade.
The summer before starting her sophomore year of college at UCLA, the actress was raped at gunpoint by a stranger in the Payless store where she worked.
While Union has been open about the sexual assault, being quarantined at home with Wade, 38, has required the actress to be even more vulnerable in ways she didn’t expect.
When Union and Wade began dating, “he was aware of it, as a fan,” she told Henson and Jade of the NBA star knowing about her PTSD.
But now, “I think it has been hard during the quarantine because we are in the same space,” explained Union. “I have not been home in any kind of consistent way since I have been an adult, so just getting to know my husband, which sounds crazy, I was like, ‘Oh, every day, every day you’re going to be here, okay ahh yeah I guess this is healthy.’ “
“I just feel a little bit more naked, exposed,” said Union, who has been going to therapy since she was 19. “Because I am just on Zoom with the therapist and I can hear the household, and then the doors open and … there is not enough space, you know what I mean, and that kind of worries me sometimes. You know when people are like, ‘You gotta keep the mystery about yourself. Don’t tell him everything.’ I’m like, ‘Well, s— then, the pandemic, you got the whole thing.'”
Continued Union, “So you have to find out: ‘Do you love me for all of … the baggage?’ ” She also admitted, “You get worried that maybe you have revealed too much and you’re going to scare them away because damaged women aren’t supposed to be lovable.”
Union and Wade began dating in 2009. They married on August 30, 2014, in Miami, Florida and the actress became a stepmother to his three children: Zaire Blessing Dwyane, 18, Xavier Zechariah, 7, and Zaya, 13, who recently revealed she identifies as female. In 2018, Wade and Union welcomed their first child together via surrogacy: daughter Kaavia James, now 2. Wade is also the guardian of nephew Dahveon Morris.
That ‘exposure’ Gabrielle is referring to is happening between couples all over the world during this pandemic. Some are handling it well — others aren’t. We’re glad she’s talking about it.