Maisie Williams burst into tears as she spoke emotionally about her “traumatic” relationship with her father “consuming” her childhood.
The Game Of Thrones star, 25, opened up about her upbringing before rising to fame as Arya Stark on the HBO series at age 12.
Growing up in Somerset with her mother Hilary and her three siblings – James, Beth and Ted, Maisie has first spoken about her relationship with her estranged father.
Tearful: Maisie Williams burst into tears as she spoke emotionally about her ‘traumatic’ relationship with her father ‘consuming’ her childhood
Talking about her childhood on A CEO’s Diary podcast, Maisie told host Stephen Bartlett that her mother “escaped” her father when she was four months old.
The actress spoke about the “traumatic” things she experienced in her youth, which caused her to cut off contact with her father at the age of eight.
Maisie said she went through a lot of “pain” and “anxiety” in her early childhood, but said she felt she was “indoctrinated” into a “child cult” because she didn’t realize the behavior she was being exposed to was “wrong” used to be ‘.
She burst into tears and said, “Well, I had a traumatic relationship with my father as a young child before the age of about eight. And I don’t want to get into it too much because it affects my siblings and my whole family.
Family: Maisie grew up in Somerset with her mother Hilary (pictured in March 2015) and her three siblings – James, Beth and Ted – and has spoken about her upbringing for the first time
“But that really took up a big part of my childhood. Ever since I can remember, I have really struggled with sleeping.
“I think a lot of the traumatic things that happened, I didn’t realize they were wrong. But I knew I’d look at other kids and think, ‘Why don’t they seem to understand this pain, fear, or anxiety? Where does the joy come – when will it come for me?’
Maisie said in tears that she would feel an “impending doom” when she was a child and that she would feel that something bad was about to happen, but didn’t know how to feel happy.
“I had this sense of impending doom and I didn’t know how to make it go away,” she said.
Trauma: The actress spoke about the “traumatic” things she experienced in her childhood and said that this led her to cut off contact with her father when she was eight years old
“There’s a time in childhood when things can get in the way of you or change who you’re going to be forever.”
Maisie said things changed when a teacher asked her what was wrong at school when she was eight and told her about her life at home.
She said: ‘When I was about eight years old, there was a pretty complex series of events that happened, but actually it had peaked and I was in school and I was really struggling.
‘I was taken to the teachers’ lounge by a teacher. She asked me what had happened, she said ‘are you hungry?’ and I said ‘yes’.
Emotional: The Game Of Thrones star, 25, opened up about her upbringing before rising to fame as Arya Stark on the HBO series at age 12
‘She asked me if I had breakfast, I said ‘why not?’ and I said ‘we just didn’t have breakfast’ and then she asked if I had breakfast normally.
“They asked the right questions. My mother came to school and picked me up. It was the first time that all the doors were open and all those things that we experienced were on the table.’
But Maisie said she didn’t understand why she was separated from her father at the time, saying she felt “indoctrinated” and like she was in a “child cult.”
“I still wanted to fight and say these things aren’t wrong, you’re just trying to take me away from my father and that’s wrong,” she said.
“I was indoctrinated in a way. I guess that’s why I’m obsessed with cults. ‘Cause I get it, I get it. I was in a children’s cult. I was really fighting it in the beginning, my whole world was turned upside down.’
Tough times: Maisie said she felt like she was “indoctrinated” into a “child cult” because she didn’t realize the behavior she was being exposed to was “wrong”
Maisie – who has been open about her mental health issues – said that while she felt relieved not to have to see her father again, she still struggled with conflicting feelings.
She said, “I was so glad I didn’t have to see my father again, but it was against everything I’d ever known.
‘You can feel so liberated and free and at the same time, as if that impending doom is still a little bit there.
“All your problems don’t just go away. You still care deeply about that person, or the pain that led to those very, very bad decisions.”
Maisie said she wants to better understand her father’s motivations, as she admitted that she thought it was her fault that “bad things” happened when she was a child.
Candid: Maisie (pictured on Game Of Thrones) said things changed when a teacher asked her what was wrong at school when she was eight and told her about her life at home
“Honestly, I’ve thought about this a lot. It’s not because of me that these bad things happened when I was a kid,” she said.
‘I thought it was. There was something inherently wrong with me, that it could be anyone experiencing the pain.
“It made me more interested in the man. Why would you mistreat your own children? What happened to you as a child? Did you pull the critters’ legs? Have you learned all this?
“That’s how I feel about him now. He would make an interesting documentary.’
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Mental health: Maisie said she wants to better understand her father’s motivations as she admitted she thought it was her fault that “bad things” happened when she was a kid