Sinead O'Connor opens up about the torture chamber she ran from and the horror she survived

Sinead O'Connor has spoken at lengths about the lack of support at home. In fact, the singer has run away from her sons and her country, Ireland, several times because she couldn't find a shoulder to cry on while she had to endure some of the darkest times in her life. Just last month, she was living alone at a Travelodge in New Jersey and had a mental breakdown of sorts. She said in an emotional video that she felt really alone while battling depression. But perhaps O'Connor has been dealing with this state of loneliness and seclusion right from a young age.

The Nothing Compares 2 U singer recently spoke about her childhood, a phase in her life that's shaded with physical and sexual abuse. O'Connor's childhood wasn't like most kids'; she lived in a house that was unsafe. During her recent appearance on Dr. Phil, she said her mother was abusive and took delight in hurting her. "She ran a torture chamber. It was a torture chamber. She was a person who took delight and smile in hurting you," she told the celebrity psychologist.

Sinead O'Connor is one of the icons of the music industry. Source: Facebook

She won a Grammy in 1991 for the Best Alternative Music Album. Source: Facebook

It isn't clear if O'Connor had friends she could confide in but she said she felt suicidal during her childhood. In the end, she ran away from home at the age of 13 and that's when the abuse came to an end. In retrospect, the singer said her mom was very ill, even possessed. The 50-year-old's mom used to say, "She used to make me say over and over ‘I am nothing. I am nothing’ or else she’d beat me."

She famously tore up a picture of the Pope during a performance of Bob Marley's War in 1992. Source: Facebook

Even though O'Connor's experiences have been traumatic, she called herself a child sexual abuse survivor who tries to live and celebrate life in whatever way she can. The Irish singer refused to call herself a victim and defended the angry letters written to her family as a way of getting them to understand her. She thought they would be there for her if they knew the extent of her pain.

The singer received hospice care after releasing an emotionally disturbing video in August on her Facebook account. Dr. Phil said he was moved when he watched the video and asked his team to assist her. The Troy singer was moved to a 100-acre facility in Tennessee, where she underwent treatment for a month. "It's the nature of the mental illness. She's up and down, but the down times are getting fewer and farther between and the lows are getting higher," he told ET Online. O'Conor's appearance on Dr. Phil marks the first time she's spoken about her childhood issues on television.

Let us know what you think of her courage and her strength to overcome all odds by dropping us an email at

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Rushali Pawar


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