Maisie Williams discusses 'traumatic' relationship with her father

‘It really consumed a lot of my childhood’: Maisie Williams, 25, breaks down in tears as she discusses her ‘traumatic’ relationship with estranged father

  • Maisie Williams broke down in tears as she emotionally discussed her ‘traumatic’ relationship with her father that ‘consumed’ her childhood 
  • The Game Of Thrones star, 25, candidly opened up about her upbringing before finding fame as Arya Stark on the HBO series at the age of 12 years old 
  • Maisie grew up in Somerset with her mother Hilary and her three siblings, and has spoken about her relationship with her father for the first time
  • Speaking on The Diary Of An CEO podcast, Maisie told host Stephen Bartlett that her mother ‘escaped’ her father when she was four months old 
  • If you have been affected by anything in this article and need support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected] 

Maisie Williams broke down in tears as she emotionally discussed her ‘traumatic’ relationship with her father that ‘consumed’ her childhood.

The Game Of Thrones star, 25, candidly opened up about her upbringing before finding fame as Arya Stark on the HBO series at the age of 12 years old.

Maisie grew up in Somerset with her mother Hilary and her three siblings – James, Beth and Ted, and has spoken about her relationship with her estranged father for the first time.

Tearful: Maisie Williams broke down in tears as she emotionally discussed her ‘traumatic’ relationship with her father that ‘consumed’ her childhood

Speaking about her childhood on The Diary Of An CEO podcast, Maisie told host Stephen Bartlett that her mother ‘escaped’ her father when she was four months old.

The actress spoke of the ‘traumatic’ things she experienced during her childhood, which led her to cutting off contact with her father when she was eight years old.

Maisie said she went through a lot of ‘pain’ and ‘fear’ in her early childhood but said she felt like she was ‘indoctrinated’ in a ‘child cult’ as she didn’t realise the behaviour she was exposed to was ‘wrong’.

Breaking down in tears, she said: ‘Well, I, as a young child before the age of, like, eight, had a traumatic relationship with my dad. And I don’t want to go 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, like, that really consumed a lot of my childhood. Ever since I can remember, I’ve really struggled sleeping.

‘I think a lot of the traumatic things that were happening, I didn’t realise they were wrong. But I knew – I would look around at other kids and be like, ‘Why don’t they seem to understand this pain, or dread, or fear? Where does the joy – when does that come for me?’

Maisie tearfully said she would feel an ‘impending sense of doom’ when she was a child and would feel that something bad would happen, but didn’t know how to feel happy.

‘I had that feeling of impending doom and I didn’t know how to make that go away,’ she said.

Trauma: The actress spoke of the ‘traumatic’ things she experienced in her childhood and said this led her to cutting off contact with her father when she was eight years old

‘There is a period of your childhood when things can stunt or alter forever who you are going to become.’ 

Maisie said things changed when a teacher asked her what was wrong in school when she was eight years old and she opened up about her home life.

She said: ‘When I was about eight, there was quite a complex string of events that happened, but basically it had met its peak and I was at school and I was really struggling.

‘I was taken by a teacher to the staff room. She asked me what had happened, she said ‘are you hungry?’ and I said ‘yeah’.

Emotional: The Game Of Thrones star, 25, candidly opened up about her upbringing before finding fame as Arya Stark on the HBO series at the age of 12 years old

‘She asked me if I ate breakfast, I said she said ‘why not?’ and I said ‘we just didn’t have any breakfast’, and then she asked if I normally had breakfast. 

‘They were asking the right questions. My mum came to school and picked me up. It was the first time that all of the doors were open and all of these things that we were experiencing were out on the table.’

But Maisie said she couldn’t understand why she was then separated from her father, 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 dad and that’s wrong,’ she said.

‘I was indoctrinated in a way. I think that’s why I’m obsessed with cults. Because I’m, like, I get it, I get it. I was in a child cult. I was really fighting it at the beginning, my whole world flipped on its head.’

Difficult times: Maisie said she felt like she was ‘indoctrinated’ in a ‘child cult’ as she didn’t realise the behaviour she was exposed to was ‘wrong’

Maisie – who has been open about her mental health struggles – said although she felt relieved she didn’t have to see her father anymore, she still struggled with conflicting feelings.

She said: ‘I was so glad I didn’t have to see my dad anymore, but it was against everything I’d ever known. 

‘You can feel so liberated and free and at the same time, just like that impending doom is kind of still there. 

‘All your problems don’t just go away, you still care a lot about that person, or the pain that led to those very, very poor decisions.’

Maisie said she wants to better understand her father’s motivations as she admitted she used to think 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 in school when she was eight years old and she opened up about her home life

‘To be honest, I have been thinking about this a lot. It’s not because of me that these bad things happened when I was a child,’ she said. 

‘I thought it was. I through there was something inherently wrong with me, that it could be anyone experiencing the pain.

‘It made me more interested in the guy. What could make you mistreat your own children? What happened to you as a kid? Did you pull the legs off bugs? Did you learn all this?

‘That’s how I feel about him now. He would make a fascinating documentary.’

If you have been affected by anything in this article and need support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or email [email protected] 

Mental health: Maisie said she wants to better understand her father’s motivations as she admitted she used to think it was her fault that ‘bad things’ happened when she was a child

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