Lydia feels trapped as Craig gaslights her after rape ordeal in Emmerdale

There were some scenes in Monday (September 11)’s Emmerdale that were incredibly hard to watch, as Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick) struggled to cope after being raped by her boss Craig Reed (Ben Addis).

Lydia hasn’t told anyone about what happened to her, but people close to her have started to notice that she isn’t herself. Sam (James Hooton) commented that she wasn’t sleeping well and was looking tired and ill, and tried to persuade her to rest.

At the same time, Sam was unwittingly making things worse by constantly talking about Craig and what a great bloke he is, and how excited Samson (Sam Hall) is to be doing work experience with Craig’s video games company. When Lydia suggested that she was thinking about leaving her job with Craig because it was getting too much, Sam reminded her that it was helpful for Samson if she was there.

Kim (Claire King) also noticed something was up with her friend and viewers will have been willing Lydia to confide in Kim about what had happened, but again Lydia chose to cover by saying she wasn’t feeling well and needed to go home.

But back at Wishing Well she was trying to rest and Craig unexpectedly appeared.

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His behaviour was absolutely vile, as he set about manipulating Lydia by trying to portray the rape as ‘our little thing,’ a moment of passion that had swept them up but that they’ve now ‘got out of our systems.’ He said he wanted them to ‘start over as dear old friends.’

Craig started folding the family’s laundry, an act that seemed horrifically intimate given what had happened and given what he was saying as he was doing it.

When Lydia tried to suggest not working for him any more, he told her, ‘If you don’t come back to the office Samson will worry about his position. Sam’ll want answers.’

He said that if he’d known about her being pregnant with their son, Toby, things would have turned out differently – suggesting that somehow Lydia was to blame for the fact that Toby died.

Knowing that Lydia has pulled herself up from that lowest moment in her life to a point now where she’s happily married and the centre of a loving family, he made it quite clear he was prepared to take all that away from her and reduce her back to how she’d been as a child.

‘I don’t want to tell Sam I made a fool, a cuckold, of him,’ he said. ‘He can’t forgive this. I would hate for this to be the end of your marriage. I don’t want you to be left with nothing again – but that is what will happen if you don’t pull yourself together.’

Karen Blick told us, ‘Lydia is terrified this could mean the end of her marriage to Sam, which is her absolute world. And the end of being part of the Dingle family which means so, so much to Lydia. She grew up in care, in isolation, she’s estranged in many ways from her own family, so the Dingles are her absolute world.’

Craig was still there and still folding laundry when Sam came home, and Sam once again made everything worse by inviting him to stay for lunch. They talked about Samson, and Lydia was left in a position where she felt she had no choice but to agree to go back to work at Craig’s office the next day.

When will Lydia be able to reach out and get some support?

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