Mariah Carey Recalls the Frightening Day Her Faith Was ‘Awakened’

Mariah Carey is opening up to her fans. Among the revelations she shared is that she endured a difficult childhood and experienced many traumatic moments. She says one situation in particular frightened her and led to the “awakening” of her faith.

Mariah Carey says she grew up around a lot of fighting

Mariah Carey | Bob King/Redferns
Mariah Carey | Bob King/Redferns

Carey says there were often fights in her home when she was growing up. In her book, The Meaning of Mariah Carey, she says some of the most violent fights took place between her father and her brother. Carey says fighting was so common in her household that she got to the point where she was able to tell when a fight would simply end or when it would escalate into a physical altercation.

“By the time I was a toddler, I had developed the instincts to sense when violence was coming,” wrote Carey. “As though I was smelling rain, I could tell when adult screaming had reached a certain pitch and velocity that meant I should take cover.”

Mariah Carey recalls the day her brother and father had an ‘epic’ fight

According to Carey, one day a fight between her father and brother turned so violent she described it as “epic.” She said it wasn’t unusual for her brother to leave their home damaged from the holes he punched in the wall or from some other outburst.

“When my brother was around, it was not uncommon for holes to be punched in walls or for other objects to go flying,” wrote Carey. “I never really knew how or why the fights would begin, but I did know when tension was turning into an argument and when an argument was destined to become a physical fight. And I knew this particular one was going to be epic.”

The day her faith was ‘awakened’

Mariah Carey in October 1990 |  Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images
Mariah Carey in October 1990 | Al Levine/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Carey says 12 police officers arrived at her childhood home in an attempt to break up the fight. A family member, Nana Reese, came to help comfort her.

Nana Reese and I found each other right before all hell really broke loose. The thunder of profanity, fists, and feet drowned out all other sounds, so I didn’t hear when the cops burst in. I didn’t know if they had come to save us or kill us.

It was Long Island in the 1970s, and two Black males were being violent—the appearance of the police almost never meant that help had arrived. On the contrary, their presence often complicated and elevated the existing terror and escalated violence. That hasn’t changed, but this was my first encounter with the fact.

Mariah Carey, The Meaning of Mariah Carey

Carey says Reese held her until she calmed down. She then told her not to be afraid because all her dreams and visions would come true one day. Carey says she believed that Reese, a prophetess and a religious woman, was prophesying a word about her future.

“I believe a deep faith was awakened in me that day,” wrote Carey. “I understood on a soul level that no matter what happened to me, or around me, something lived inside me that I could always call on. I had something that would guide me through any storm.”

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