Gabrielle Union has candidly discussed the personal horror of being raped at gunpoint as a teenager in her 2017 memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, and in a new interview with Redbook, she opens up about still suffering post-traumatic stress from the incident.
Appearing on the cover of the magazine’s March 2018 issue, the “Being Mary Jane” actress is characteristically candid, admitting that discussing her sexual assault while promoting the book actually triggered her PTSD.
“On my book tour, a lot of cities felt like a revival — there were so many disclosures of abuse during the Q&A portion of talks and during the book signing; even as I was driving away people were flagging down my car in tears. I didn’t realize how big the need was for so many people to just get it out, to have someone look them in the eye and say, ‘I believe you.’ I cried a lot,” she reveals.
“I Skyped a lot with my life coach, because the horrors that I was taking in triggered my PTSD but I feel a responsibility to offer that sense of safety and support. And luckily I have the means to help myself at the end of the night.”
One of the ways she’s been able to move on is through therapy, which brought about the idea of creating a “happiness list.”
“I started working with a therapist who asked me to list things that make me happy, and one of my top three was imitation crab!” she reveals. “You’re not on the right track if you say imitation crab. So the therapist started to ask questions: ‘What don’t you like? What annoys you? Have you ever experienced euphoria?’ Examine those moments and you’ll start to figure out who you really are.”
You can read more with Union in the March issue of Redbook, on sale at newsstands on Feb. 13.