Mariah Carey's Toxic Relationship With Her Mom Left Her in Such ″Trauma & Deep Sadness" That She Had to Create Boundaries

Mariah Carey's Toxic Relationship With Her Mom Left Her in Such ″Trauma & Deep Sadness" That She Had to Create Boundaries

Mariah Carey was raised by her mother, a singer herself. As the years went by, her mother became jealous of her talent.

Source: Getty Images | Photo by (L) Kevin Winter and (R) Jamie McCarthy

No matter how successful you become professionally, the scars left behind by your troublesome personal life could sometimes come in the way of your happiness.

Mariah Carey was fortunate enough to build an exceptional career. However, behind the glam and success of her singing profession, Carey suffered because of the toxic relationship with her mother, Patricia.

Referring to it as "complicated," Carey opened up about the tumultuous relationship she has with her mother. In her memoir, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, Carey shed light on their love-hate relationship that began very early on.



″I loved her deeply, and, like most kids, I wanted her to be a safe place for me. Above all, I desperately wanted to believe her. But ours is a story of betrayal and beauty. Of love and abandonment. Of sacrifice and survival. I've emancipated myself from bondage several times, but there is a cloud of sadness that I suspect will always hang over me, not simply because of my mother but because of our complicated journey together,″ wrote the singer, according to People.


Carey was raised predominantly by her mother after the divorce of her parents. The singer was just 3 years old when her father, Alfred Roy, left them.

Patricia was a Julliard-trained opera-singer-turned-vocal coach but she was not always a great mother to the singer.



In her book, Carey recalled how she yearned for a mother like the ones she saw on television, somebody who would have ″genuine, sustained interest″ in her. Recalling an incident that happened when she was just 7 years old, the singer revealed that her mother failed to notice her drowning despite her crying out hysterically.

Despite the cracks in their relationship, Carey and her mother bonded over their mutual love for music. Though Patricia nurtured her talent and gave her the confidence to follow her dream, Carey noticed a shift in her attitude.



As Carey began being noticed locally for her talent, her mother started becoming jealous of her. In one instance, Patricia told young Carey, "You should only hope that one day you become half the singer I am,” according to Goalcast.


Alluding to that statement made by her mother, Carey said, "Still, to this day, what she said haunts and hurts me. I don't know if she meant to cut me down to size or it was just her bruised ego talking; all I know is that those words that shot out of her mouth pierced my chest and were buried in my heart."

To make matters worse, Carey noticed that her own mother began to view her as a competition. The singer was so deeply affected by it that her relationship with Patricia went for a toss. She consciously decided to walk away from her mother's toxicity and her interaction with Patricia became just a social obligation.


Though the process left her in ″trauma and deep sadness," the mother-of-two was convinced there was no other way.

"Having people you love be jealous of you professionally comes with the territory of success, but when the person is your mother and the jealousy is revealed at such a tender age, it’s particularly painful," said the singer, according to Goalcast.


As the years went by, Carey learned to navigate through her complicated relationship with her mother.


″Like many aspects of my life, my journey with my mother has been full of contradictions and competing realities. It's never been only black-and-white — it's been a whole rainbow of emotions," said the 51-year-old.

She added, ″Our relationship is a prickly rope of pride, pain, shame, gratitude, jealousy, admiration, and disappointment. A complicated love tethers my heart to my mother's."

Being a mother herself, Carey learned to accept the reality of her relationship with Patricia. "It has caused me so much pain and confusion. Time has shown me there is no benefit in trying to protect people who never tried to protect me. Time and motherhood have finally given me the courage to honestly face who my mother has been to me."


However, she does not want to completely let go of her mother. "I have reserved some room in my heart and life to hold her — but with boundaries. Creating boundaries with the woman who gave birth to me is not easy — it is a work in progress," said the singer.




Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos by (L) Kevin Winter and (R) Jamie McCarthy