Gabrielle Union admits lockdown has left her feeling ‘exposed’ with husband Dwyane Wade as she continues to undergo therapy for her rape ordeal.
The Bring It On actress was sexually assaulted at the age of 19 in 1991 during a night shift at a Payless store where she worked.
She has spent her life advocating for survivors of violent crimes against women and has continued to have therapy sessions in lockdown.
However, Gabrielle says it’s been a different experience working through issues with her therapist from home knowing her husband Dwyane and their children are not too far away in the house.
Speaking to actress Taraji P Henson on her new Facebook Watch series Peace Of Mind With Taraji, Gabrielle explained: ‘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.’
The 48-year-old revealed that Dwyane, 38, was aware of her PTSD when they began dating in 2009.
Sharing the effect it’s had on her marriage, Gabrielle revealed: ‘I think it has been hard during the quarantine because we are in the same space.
‘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”.’
The Being Mary Jane star continued: ‘I just feel a little bit more naked, exposed.
‘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**t then, the pandemic, you got the whole thing”. So you have to find out: “Do you love me for all of … the baggage?” 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.’
Gabrielle and Dwyane tied the knot in 2014 and share two-year-old daughter Kaavia James, while the actress is also stepmother to the former NBA star’s sons – Zaire, 18, Xavier, seven, and Zaya, 13 – from his previous marriage.
Dwyane is also guardian of his nephew Dahveon Morris.
Victim Support offers support to survivors of rape and sexual abuse. You can contact them on 0333 300 6389.