The actress credits Ayahuasca with not only repairing her love life -- but unearthing the grim reason behind her issues.
AnnaLynne McCord had major intimacy issues -- until her life was changed by ayahuasca.
The actress stopped into TooFab to talk candidly about the new documentary "The Medicine", which examines the powerful psychoactive brew made from Amazonian plants, and the life-altering effects it has on those who try it.
"I had major issues with intimacy," she told us. "I could have a lot of fun physically... but looking my partner in the eye was just like Medusa. 'I'm going to turn you to stone! Don't look me in the eye!'"
"Literally it was like, I would like to be able to have intimacy with my partner and it not just be this act that's separate from a relationship, that's a lot of fun but has no kind of connection in any kind of higher, spiritual way."
The "Nip/Tuck" star traveled to the rainforests of Costa Rica, along with former NFL star Kerry Rhodes, to take part in the ancient ceremony, in which a shaman brews the drink. Part of the ritual is to write out intentions; your hopes and desires, or revelations sought about oneself.
For AnnaLynne, the reasons behind her intimacy block were suddenly unveiled to her 13 months to the day after the ceremony: she was sexually abused as a child.
"I'm so grateful that I did it, I'm so grateful that my memories came back," she said. "They were memories of child sexual abuse."
"For years during my childhood they were just a big, black hole in my life."
The actress explained how there were many hints in her lifestyle: she's been the president of the anti-human trafficking organization Together 1 Heart for ten years, she speaks at colleges and Ted Talks about sexualized violence, but she never knew exactly what drew her to those issues.
"All of the arrows were pointing at something really big; my brain had just completely blocked it out," she said.
"And 13 months to the day of making that request in the intention in ayahuasca, I was in EMDR treatment [Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing] for PTSD -- the bubble popped, and all of my memories came back."
She said that not only had ayahuasca revealed the cause of the block -- it had repaired it.
"I can have an intimate relationship with a man now. That was why I couldn't look a guy in the eye," she said. "Love was used against me in the worst possible way as a little kid."
"Now I know that my body is to be cherished and safe and protected. All the issues I have with worthiness and self worth, that's [gone]."
Both AnnaLynne and Kerry spoke at length about their fascinating journey into the Amazon -- and themselves -- from the hallucinations they experienced, how gross the drink actually is, and the inevitable 'purge' the body undergoes immediately afterward.
The former Jets and Cardinals star decided to try it partially out of fear of the effects of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), the head injury disorder haunting the NFL.
Hear his jaw-dropping account in the video below.
"The Medicine", narrated by Stuart Townsend, will be available on Amazon and iTunes in October.