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Shania Twain recalls a difficult childhood, singing in bars at age 8: “I grew up a little broken”

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Shania Twain feels “a little broken” after her difficult childhood.

The singer appeared on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” where the two stars bonded over the pressure they felt as children to provide for their family and raise themselves or, in Twain’s case, other young people.

“I got a little broken, I think,” Twain told Barrymore, remembering drunken adults “stumbling upon her” while they were in nightclubs when she was 8 and “just put in situations that were not natural.

“I loved what I did, I mean, I loved music, so I was torn,” she continued. “I had this passion for music and I thought, ‘Well, I guess if you have a passion for music, that’s the way to do it.'”

Shania Twain told Drew Barrymore that she felt “a little broken” because of her difficult childhood. (Dave J. Hogan/Getty Images)

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Twain got her start as a musician singing in bars as a child, and the money she earned was intended to support her family, including her four siblings, her mother, and her beau -father.

“I think some personalities are not as able to cope with it. I feel lucky to have been so resilient, but I paid the price for it,” Twain told Barrymore.

“Children are prisoners of the adult environment. And that’s what I felt,” she added.

Barrymore reflected on her emancipation at age 14 and getting her own apartment, telling Twain: “My biggest thing that I’d like to finally put to bed is to stop being angry and disappointed and so critical about the way I raised myself. But I had no other choice, because I had to do it.”

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Twain reassured her that it was “an unfair burden placed on the child. It’s not fair. Children shouldn’t be burdened by this, like the way you’re talking right now.”

Speaking of his own experience, Twain continued: “I don’t blame myself. I was a bad parent at 10. Of course, I was a very bad parent at 10! I must have been the worst parent at 10 years old. How do you do it? You put the kids in the bath, you wash their clothes by hand, you make sure they’re dry in the morning, you put them on the bus, feed them – of course I don’t I didn’t do that well. Terrible parent.”

Twain, who referred to his siblings as his children in the interview, had to take full legal responsibility at the age of 22 after their parents died in a car accident.

Shania Twain smiles right in a blue dress and curly bun

Twain said she was a “terrible mother at 10,” but that made sense because she was just a child caring for her younger siblings. (Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

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“It was a different type of parenting because now there was no one to blame because now they are gone,” the 58-year-old said. “All of a sudden I’m responsible for making decisions about my parents’ mortgage. I didn’t know they had a mortgage, I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t know anything about how they managed their business or debts or insurance. I had to learn overnight. My parents are deceased. Three days later, I found myself in law offices and insurance companies.

This pressure at a young age inspired Twain to continue taking risks as an adult.

Portrait of Shania Twain smiling

Twain is grateful for her resilient personality when she looks back on her difficult childhood. (Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)

“But that’s why it’s so good to dive into my life now because you don’t always know what’s on the other side of the cliff. You don’t always know what the depth of the water when you jump. Whatever happens to you, you will make it to the other side and when you open your eyes, you will say to yourself: ‘wow, I realized something'”, he said. -she declared.

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“Actually, I crossed a threshold of fear, I crossed a threshold of fear. It doesn’t matter that you’re on the other side, it’s more that you made it through.”

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