In Mariah Carey's new memoir, the Grammy-winning artist makes one thing clear: She sees "no benefit to protect people who didn't protect me."
Throughout "The Meaning of Mariah Carey," released Tuesday, Carey writes about the people in her life who have challenged her at best or traumatized her at worst. She also takes time to honor her great loves and special moments on the road to becoming a history-making artist. Here are some key takeaways from her book.
1. As a kid, Carey didn't believe she "was worthy of being alive."
She writes, "I was too young to contemplate ending my life but just old enough to know I hadn't begun living nor found where I belonged." Music, however, gave her a reason to exist.
2. There's an origin story behind Carey's insistence that she's "eternally 12."
Carey writes that when she was 12 and weighed only 80 pounds, her sister Alison drugged her with Valium, offered her cocaine and cigarettes, gave her third-degree burns and "tried to sell me out to a pimp." During that period, Carey writes, she sometimes had to talk Alison down from suicidal, "drug-induced hysteria," then get up a few hours later for school. After nearly four decades, she is "still struggling through that time" and continues to relive it in nightmares.
3. Carey encountered "violent" men and situations as a girl.
Carey describes her brother Morgan as violent, often getting into fistfights with their father and once knocking their mother out cold. When a cop found Mariah crying on the floor after one incident, he muttered, "If this kid makes it, it'll be a miracle."
Her sister's adult boyfriend, whom she later calls a "pimp," took Carey to a drive-in movie. He "pushed in closer and forced a hard kiss on me," Carey writes, while a gun sat on his lap. A bystander, a "prayer in person," noticed what was happening, so her sister's boyfriend backed off and drove her home in silence.
In high school, she and her boyfriend, the "scariest dude in town," got into a "physical altercation" in public, while some girls stood around watching.