Logo (Full Colour) - The Woman Unpacked



Marisa's Story

Marisa met a man who changed her life in one of the most unexpected ways, a man who she envisioned being in her life for the long run. Together, they experienced newness, enjoyed adventures and began developing a friendship that quickly turned into something more intoxicating. For months on end, she became engulfed in a whirlwind of moments that mirrored beauty, ultimately leading to a transformation of deep emotional surrender to him. Despite the warning signs, she tried to be his light, his comfort, his guide, his friend. She wanted to show him her world, be his saviour but little did she know that all she had to offer would never be enough for the predator that was lurking in the shadows of his being. 

On the night her life was dramatically altered, she was unaware that the friendship that started out as butterflies and honest conversation would end with blood, tears and his sweat covering her body. Marisa was devastated. She spent many of her subsequent days silently weeping and morphing into a zombie. She told no one, she could not bear the idea of people possibly not believing her or even blaming her. She desperately tried to tear off her skin whenever the memories resurfaced. She lost her voice and her sense of purpose. Her light was gone. There was no world where Marisa could admit that she was raped. 

She re-lived this dreadful moment hundreds of times to see where she went wrong. Should she have shouted “stop” louder, pushed him off harder? but instead, her body and mind betrayed her, she was paralysed with fear and confusion. Nothing could have been enough to quell his insatiable desire for pleasure. 

All the sweetness she thought she knew turned into bitter memories. An act that she deemed as a romantic gesture shifted to a traumatic encounter. In the aftermath of that night, an inexplicable bond tethered Marisa to him. She was driven by a desire to shield him from guilt and she struggled to forgive him, even as he acknowledged the gravity of his actions. Despite the weight of his admission, Marisa fought with herself to find peace from within herself; peace that she also wanted to share with him. She tirelessly tried to see a way forward, a future where they could rekindle the friendship but his guilt was no match for this disgraceful act. The bitter truth became undeniable, there could be no redemption, no restoration of what was lost.

Marisa has endured a long journey to admitting that she was in truth and in fact, raped by someone she trusted and had love for. Her trauma plunged her into a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome, the need to protect her aggressor was unexplainable. With the help of her friends, Emma, Gabriella and Diana, eventually, Marisa had no choice but to accept what actually happened on that night, especially if she wanted to reach peace and experience true healing in her life. On this healing journey, Marisa has battled with feeling ashamed, not good enough, weak, stupid, self-conscious, angry and has been riddled with unwanted thoughts, emotions and unhealthy habits. Despite the uncomfortable fact that certain smells, music, places, things, activities remind her of that night, she knows that living life stuck in her hurt and pain will only cause her more harm.

Now, Marisa is aware of the fact that she doesn’t have to be alone on her path of healing. Her family and closest friends, Diana, Emma and Gabriella have been pillars in her life and have surrounded her with the love and support she needs to keep pushing forward on the difficult road of healing.

Watch the other stories


Diana, a vibrant and sociable woman, grappled with the burden of low self-worth. In her relentless pursuit to measure up to societal standards, she unwittingly sacrificed her true self, surrendering to the demands of a superficial world.


Gabriella, like many others, lost her mom unexpectedly. She experienced a numbness that no amount of medication or special technique could cure, and she learned that time is one of the greatest enemies a human can have. It waits on no one. It is a thief. It keeps passing even after tragedy strikes.


Have you ever tried living with a broken heart? This was something Emma had no choice but to do. Her broken heart came from 2 main places; Emma and her boyfriend had to end their relationship and she also lost some of her closest friends.

As they navigated their own paths of growth and self-acceptance, Marisa, Gabriella, Emma, and Diana formed an unbreakable bond. Together, they inspired and uplifted one another, becoming a living testament to the power of friendship and the transformative potential of self-love.