AnnaLynne McCord opens up about her dissociative identity disorder
AnnaLynne McCord, Hollywood actor and activist, recently opened up about how revisiting her past traumas following her dissociative identity disorder diagnosis was both painful and healing. During an interview with Good Morning America, the 90210 star recalled filming a season 2 scene for The CW series in which a teacher, played by Hal Ozsan, rapes her character, Naomi and how she reacted. She shared, "My whole body like just went into panic mode as if I was living out my life on camera. These moments were coming to light through my work. I didn't understand anything about the mind or the brain at the time, I was just trying to do my job and I couldn't."
McCord explained that even though she had an intense emotional reaction around this scene, she didn't have the memories associated with her pain. Eventually, she learned she was a sexual abuse survivor, and that she had "all of the dangerous, toxic, harmful memories" locked away.
The actor had first spoken out about being a sexual assault survivor in 2012 and later talked about the abuse she suffered during childhood in 2014.
Given the great deal of misinformation about dissociative identity disorder, characters in films like 'Split' depict those with the diagnosis as having distinct different personalities and identities, McCord explained what it means for her.
Explaining the disorder, she said, "You have fragments of yourself. There's AnnaLynne, who's talking to you right now, right? And then there's the part of me that this trauma happened to that still, if you can imagine it like trapped in Pandora's box and I just opened Pandora's box."
McCord further talked about DID and continued, "The brain doesn't care about quality of life. It just cares about going on to continue living. I want my quality of life to get better and that's why I stepped into this healing process."
According to media reports, the actor had first spoken about her diagnosis earlier this month in a conversation with Dr. Daniel Amen of the Amen Clinics. She had said that playing her character Pauline in the 2012 film 'Excision' had helped her realize what was happening.
McCord also recently took to her social media feed and shared how she had chosen to be happiness and earlier she used to despise people who used to be happy. In a post she wrote, "used to believe Life = Suffering. You COULDN’T convince me otherwise. “The dead are the lucky ones,” was a favorite quote of mine. Now, I’m like... “Pssssshhhh!! Fck that! I’m done living in hell. Being miserable is overrated.” (I also would punch a ‘me’ in the face back in the day) I used to LOATHE people who believed in happiness."
She explained, "My new understanding is as follows: LIFE = SUFFERING until GRATITUDE > PAIN. Gratitude can only become greater than our pain when we TAKE OWNERSHIP of our lives. I had every excusable reason in the world to wash my hands of life and say, “I’m checking out. This shit sucks. I got dealt a shit hand.” Healing sounds lovely. But the process is gnarly AF!"
She went on, "I had to get really honest with ME about ME. I had to stop RUNNING FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE BAD DECISIONS I KNOWINGLY MADE. So I flipped on it. I said, “I accept. Send me to Hell.” My mind did just that. Circumstances throughout my healing seemingly worsened this. And then, I began something REALLY UNORTHODOX. I started saying, “Thank you.” To every bit of it. “Thank you for the lesson. Next?” “What new pile of shit is gonna be dumped in my life now? Give it to me. I can take it. Thank you!” “That all you got?”
She continued, "This is what they don’t tell you abt healing. This is the part that everyone wants to skip. I’m here for TRUTH. And truth is (in Carl Jung’s words), “No tree can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell.” So I went to hell. And, I came back. I saw the Devil, and she was Me. I had a lot of trauma & a lot of pain. To undo it, I had to admit that I’ve also caused a lot of pain and perhaps some trauma, too. That was no easy admission to make.
"Facing me and what was done to me required equal parts compassion and self-responsibility. Compassion for the painful wounds. Responsibility for the harm those wounds went on to cause. Compassion for the amending process. Responsibility for the self-love & self-forgiveness required to heal the wounds once and for all. I recently opened up abt the integration process I’ve been able to implement w/ the ‘alters’ my Dissociative Identity Disorder created to protect me. Grateful to finally be ‘WHOLE’"
(With agency inputs)