Gabrielle Union says she feels ‘exposed’ in front of Dwyane Wade due to PTSD

Union told Taraji Henson she still has post-traumatic stress disorder from being raped at gunpoint before her sophomore year of college.

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In an interview for the new Facebook Watch talk show Peace of Mind with Taraji, Gabrielle Union talked about how the nine months of America’s coronavirus pandemic have helped her deepen her relationship with husband Dwyane Wade.

Opening up to co-hosts Taraji P. Henson and Tracie Jade, Union said she still has post-traumatic stress disorder, stemming from being raped at gunpoint during the summer before her sophomore year of college.

In this late October screengrab, actress/activist Gabrielle Union speaks at “That’s It, That’s the Event” during Day Five of the virtual “Vulture Festival: In the Nest 2020.” (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Vox Media)

“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.

“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.'”

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She said she and Wade discussed her trauma when they were dating, but in their marriage, she feels “a little bit more naked, exposed.”

Union said regular sessions with her therapist help, but she worries sometimes if she is losing “mystery” in her marriage.

“So, you have to find out: ‘Do you love me for all of … the baggage?'” she shared. “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.”

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Union was assaulted while working at a Payless Shoe Source, and her rapist was ultimately caught, sentenced to 33 years in prison. She won a negligence suit against the now-defunct shoe-store chain because it failed to warn employees, even though he had been identified as a robber at a different location.

Peace of Mind with Taraji debuted Monday. With this show, the Academy Award-nominated Henson says she hopes to normalize conversations about mental health issues, particularly for the Black community.

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