May 03, 2011 21:02:00 GMT
A visit back to the home where she grew up for a new TV series was an emotional one for Shania Twain - because it brought back bad memories.
The country superstar Shania Twain returned to Timmins, Ontario with her sister Carrie Ann for her new motivational Oprah Winfrey Network show "Why Not? With Shania Twain", which debuts in America on Sunday - and visited the small house where the siblings grew up on the poverty line.
Wandering around the home, Twain recalls her violent stepdad raging through the rooms and attacking her mother.
She says, "The violence in our home, it scared me... It was traumatic. When you're little, you don't even really know what's going on.. but I started to realise that he could kill her... The house is shaking and there's pounding and yelling and screaming and crying."
Her sister adds, "I remember feeling so helpless and desperate, more for my mom than anything because she was the one that was really being tortured and beaten."
The trip back home also reminded the sisters of the time their parents were killed in a car crash in 1987, which almost claimed the lives of their little brother too.
Fighting back tears, Twain recalls, "I was an eight-to-10 hour car ride away - they explained to me on the phone that they were dead."
The two sisters also visited the graves of their parents as part of their trip back to Timmins.
Promoting the show on Winfrey's talk show on Tuesday, Twain recalled one fight between her mum and stepdad, when he thrust her head into a toilet bowl - a moment she recalled in her new memoir.
She said, "That moment for me was the moment I screamed and expressed every bit of suffering and pain and sadness and anger that I had."
But the singer insists, despite his faults, her stepdad was a great man: "I loved my father, my father was a beautiful man; he took us children in as his own... and he gave us so much... He took care of us as best he could... He was just a great guy."