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Children have softened me: Angelina Jolie

Los Angeles: Actress Angelina Jolie says she's had been a dark person in the past, but her family helped to heal her.

The 38-year-old raises six children - Maddox, 12, Pax, 10, Zahara, 9, Shiloh, 7, and five-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne - with fiance and actor Brad Pitt.

Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie

Jolie said that she has gone through very dark times in the past, but credits her family for enabling her to open up again, reports contactmusic.com.

"I understood that journey. I've been dark, I've been hurt, I've gone walls up, angry and changed, and then children have softened me and opened me up again, and made me remember all those wonderful things and they've helped to heal me," said Jolie.

The actress has gone through some tough times over the years. She underwent a preventive double mastectomy last year after learning that she carried the BRCA gene, a mutation that puts a person at higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

She was left devastated by the death of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, from ovarian cancer in 2007.

Jolie said that she used to harm herself because she felt her life was empty.

"I used to cut myself or jump out of airplanes, trying to find something new to push up against because sometimes everything else felt too easy.

"I was searching for something deeper, something more. I tried everything. I always felt caged, closed in, like I was punching at things that weren't there. I always had too much energy for the room I was in," added Jolie.

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