Gabrielle Union Describes “Ag’ony” of An’xie’ty and P’TS’D After Being Ra’pe’d at 19

Thirty years later, Gabrielle Union is continuing to nav’igate life after a tra’uma’tic event.

The Cheaper by the Dozen actress offered a glimpse into some of her personal struggles in an Instagram post on June 7, explaining how post’traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxi’ety affect her day-to-day life in the spotlight after she was ra’pe’d at age 19.

“As a ra’pe survivor, I have battled PT’SD for 30 years,” she began in her post. “Living with anxi’ety and pa’nic a’tta’cks all these years has never been easy. There’s times the anx’iety is so bad it shrinks my life.”

Union said that leaving her house or even making an unpr’otected left turn at a traffic signal can “fill me with terr’or.” Her an’xiety can also turn her excite’ment about going to a party, such as the Met Gala, into “pure agony.”

“When we tell y’all what we are experiencing, please believe us the 1st time we mention it,” she wrote. “No, it’s not like being nervous and everyone experiences and deals with anxi’ety differently, and that’s OK.”

Gabrielle Union

The actress, who has been married to Dwyane Wade for seven years, previously opened up about being r’ape’d in her book of essays, We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True. In an excerpt published by Glamour in 2017, Union said she was ra’pe’d at gu’npo’int while working at a Payless shoe store when she was 19 years old.

Over the years, she’s spoken about her decision to “em’brace” being a sur’vivor of se’xu’al as’sau’lt.

“I have to keep talking out because people feel like they’re the only ones,” she told E! News in 2017. “They feel like are on an island by themselves; they feel like they are scre’aming into a hu’rrica’ne and nobody is listening and I am just trying to say, ‘I’m listening. I hear you. I’ve been there, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.'”

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