Maisie Williams talks about her ‘traumatic relationship’ with her father
Actor Maisie Williams recently opened up about her traumatic childhood relationship with her father.
In a recent appearance on the “Diary of a CEO” podcast, Williams talked about her life before her “Game of Thrones” stardom and how the trauma she endured at an early age has contributed to her ongoing mental health struggles.
“I, as a young child before the age of 8, had quite a traumatic relationship with my dad,” she told host Steven Bartlett. “And I don’t really want to go into it too much because it affects my siblings and my whole family, but that really consumed a lot of my childhood.”
The 25-year-old noted her experiences growing up distanced her from other kids her age.
“Ever since I can remember, I’ve really struggled sleeping and I think a lot the traumatic things that were happening I didn’t realize that they were wrong,” Williams said. “But I knew that I would look around at other kids and be like, ‘Why don’t they seem to understand this, like, pain or dread or fear? ... Where does the joy, like, when does that come for me?’”
Before they were cast in “Game of Thrones,” they were mostly obscure — supporting players in cult Danish political dramas and former member of forgotten pop duos from the ’90s.
Her mother “escaped” her father when the actor was about 4 months old, with Williams saying this is something that she has been “learning a lot about recently.”
It wasn’t until she was 8 that “The New Mutants” actor began to understand the extent of the toxicity in her relationship with her father.
She recalled struggling in school and one day being taken aside by a teacher for some questioning.
“[S]he was saying, like, ‘What’s wrong?,’ you know, like, ‘What’s happened? Are you hungry? ... ‘Did you eat breakfast?’ I said, ‘No.’ And she said, ‘Oh, why not?’ And I said, ‘We just don’t have any breakfast.’ And then she says, you know, ‘Do you normally have breakfast?’ ... They were asking all the right questions.”
It was after that incident that Williams says “all of the doors were sort of open, and all of these things that we were experiencing were out on the table.” She added that she was hesitant to accept the truths of her situation and wanted to meet her mother with skepticism, saying, “I still wanted to fight and say these things aren’t wrong, that you’re just trying to take me away from my dad.”
The eighth and final season of HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones” is approaching, and while fans wait to learn its characters’ fates, it seems some of the show’s stars are already moving on.
Without adding much specificity, she said she had been “indoctrinated” at an early age and that she was “in a child cult.”
“I get it, I was in a child cult against my mother. So I was really fighting it at the beginning, but basically my whole world flipped on its head,” Williams said. “And even though all these things I was feeling — ‘Oh, my God, I’m so glad I don’t have to see my dad anymore’ — it still was against everything I knew to be true.”
Williams said she’s glad she doesn’t have to deal with her father anymore and that she’s been coming to terms with how to process her past.
“It’s not because of me that these bad things happened when I was a child,” she said. “I felt there was something inherently wrong with me, or us, because we did lots of things wrong all the time, which is why you’d be mistreated. … Especially because it was a parent, and they’re supposed to like you.”
While Williams didn’t expand much more on particular incidents with her father, she said that in reexamining her relationship with him she finds herself more “interested” in the inner workings of his thought process.
“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?” she said. “That’s how I feel about him now. He would make a fascinating documentary.”
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