Maisie Williams found major professional success at just 12 years old when she was cast as Arya Stark Game of Thronesbut she recently revealed that her childhood up until then had been a series of traumatic events that affected her mental health in ways she still struggles with.
While appearing in a recent episode of Diary of a CEO hosted by Steven Bartlett, she opened up about her family and her relationship with her estranged father for the first time. Williams explained that her mother “escaped” her father when she was just four months old, but she did not cut contact with him until she was eight after a series of negative experiences. She began: “Well, as a young child before the age of, like eight, I had a traumatic relationship with my father. And I don’t want to dwell on it too much because it affects my siblings and my whole family.” However, she noted that the “pain” and “fear” she experienced at a young age made her feel like she was being “indoctrinated” into a “children’s cult” as it took her a long time to realize how wrong it was. behavior was.
“It really ate away at a lot of my childhood. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a really hard time sleeping,” the actor continued. “I think a lot of the traumatic things that happened, I wasn’t aware of, that they were wrong. But I knew…I would look around at other kids and say, ‘Why don’t they seem to understand this pain, fear, or dread? Where does the joy come from – when will it come to me?'” She broke down in tears, adding: “I had this sense of impending doom and I didn’t know how to make it go away. There is a period in your childhood when things can inhibit or change forever who you will become.”
But Williams said that all began to change after she opened up to a teacher at her school about what was going on in her home life. She said: “When I was about eight there was quite a complex series of events that happened but basically it had reached 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 “Yes.” She asked me if I had breakfast, I said ‘No,’ she said, ‘Why not?’ I said we just didn’t have any breakfast and then she asked if I usually had breakfast. They asked the right questions. My mom came to school and picked me up. It was the first time all the doors were open and everyone these things we experienced were out on the table.”
But still, the actress explained that she felt a strange loyalty to her father and could not understand why she was separated from him. “I would still fight and say these things are not wrong, you’re just trying to take me away from my father and it’s wrong,” she said. “I was indoctrinated in a way. I guess that’s why I’m obsessed with cults. Because I get it, I get it. I was in a child cult. I really struggled with it at first, my whole world turned upside down.” And even realizing the separation was in her best interest, she added, “I was so glad I didn’t have to see my dad anymore, but it was against everything I had ever known. You can feel so liberated and free and at the same time like the impending doom is still there, sort of. All your problems don’t just go away, you still love that person or that pain that led to those very, very bad decisions.”