Before Shania Twain was a worldwide country star, she was just a little girl from Ontario, Canada known as Eilleen Regina Edwards.
It wasn’t until her mother, Sharon, married her stepfather, Jerry Twain, that she picked up her famous last name, The Guardian reports.
But now, Shania has revealed that she suffered horrific abuse at the hands of her stepfather — starting from the time she was just a child.David Conlin/Pinterest
The 52-year-old singer said it started as physical abuse when she was “around the age of 10.” Shania explained:
“I feel the sexual abuse goes hand in hand with the physical and psychological abuse when it’s somebody you know. I learned to block it out. Abusers need to manipulate you, whether it’s before or after, and what I said to myself is: ‘OK, there’s something wrong with this person and that person is not well.’”
She said her mother often got into violent fights with her stepfather and recalled one time when he beat Sharon unconscious and stuck her head in the toilet.
Shania was just 11 at the time, but smashed a chair on his back. In return, she got punched in the jaw. She told The Guardian:
“I was worried about my father killing my mother. I thought they’d kill each other. My mom was quite violent, too. Many nights I went to bed thinking: ‘Don’t go to sleep, don’t go to sleep, wait till they are sleeping.’ And I would wake up and make sure everybody was breathing.”
The country star said it was music that eventually helped her.Shania Twain/Instagram
According to Country Living, Shania started performing at local clubs and events when she was just 12 years old. She also started to write music, which helped her “escape” the chaos around her.
Then at age 22, she learned that both Sharon and Jerry had died in a car crash, leaving her to care for her four younger siblings.
She took a singing job at a nearby resort, and six years later she finally signed to a record label.
The rest was history for the singing sensation.
Shania said he parents’ death still weighs on her, but she’s living her best life now. She has a healthy 15-year-old son and is preparing for her upcoming tour.
The country crooner said, “I was born to be a fighter and a survivor.”