Maisie Williams has opened up about her "traumatic relationship" with her father for the first time.
During an appearance on The Diary of a CEO podcast with Steven Bartlett, the Game of Thrones actress revealed that her mother left her father when she was four months old and she and her three older siblings had a "traumatic" relationship with him until she was about eight.
"That really consumed a lot of my childhood. Ever since I can remember I've really struggled sleeping," she shared. "I think a lot of the traumatic things that were happening, I didn't realise that 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?'"
The 25-year-old explained that everything came to a head when she was eight and teachers took her into the staff room at school and asked all "the right questions" about her upbringing.
"It was the first time that all of the doors were open and it was the first time things were on the table," Maisie recalled. "I still wanted to fight and say these things aren't bad, that you're just trying to take me away from my dad and that's wrong. I was indoctrinated in a way.
"My world flipped on its head... I was like, 'Oh my God, I'm so glad I don't have to see my dad anymore,' but it still was against everything I ever knew to be true."
After that, Maisie expected her sense of "impending doom" to lift but her problems didn't disappear, despite feeling "so liberated and free".
She is now able to take a step back and look at her childhood objectively and knows that wasn't something "inherently wrong" with her or her siblings to make their father "mistreat" them.
Maisie also revealed that she doesn't know her father at all and has so many questions about his upbringing and history.
"He would make a fascinating documentary. It's nice to not feel the personal pain of that anymore... it's a nicer way to think of him than as someone who doesn't love me or like me or whatever," she candidly admitted. "I feel now there is some sort of closure to it, where the journey may help other people, whereas before it was just pain, pain, pain and pain."