"'Kept my tears inside' ‘cause I knew if I started I’d keep crying for the rest of my life.’ It’s really true," the singer said. "At that point in my life [during my marriage] I didn’t cry because I had to be so emotionally cut off to deal with it."
Nobody steps into their first marriage thinking that they will be living out their days as a prisoner in their own home. When Mariah Carey married Tommy Mottola, their wedding ceremony was lauded for being modeled after Princess Diana and Prince Charles' nuptials.
While the world only saw the glitz of their wedding day, nobody saw the tears and heartbreak hidden behind closed doors. "No one saw me on the honeymoon, running down the beach, miserable, crying and alone," Carey said in an interview with Aliya S. King, as reported by Business Wire.
The singer was just 23 when she got married in 1993 to the former chairman of Sony Music, who was 20 years older than her. Carey felt trapped in her own marriage right from the start. "You might want to picture a child bride,” she told Cosmopolitan. "...It was very controlled. There was no freedom for me as a human being. It was almost like being a prisoner."
Her marriage turned into her own "private hell" and she opened up about it on her E! show Mariah’s World.
"I was with someone at the time that had a lot of control over my life," said Carey, as quoted by Stylist. "He was older than me by a lot and had a lot of power and he wanted me to remain away from most people, like sequestered."
Their relationship was so controlling that she felt "locked in a house". "I had to get permission to leave [the house]," she revealed. "I never thought I would get out of there."
Even though it was a relationship that built her up, the trauma of it all didn't leave her for a long time. "My relationship with my husband was not a physical relationship. It just wasn't.... that relationship shaped who I am. It beyond shaped me. I still have nightmares about it," she went on to say.
"Even though I owned that house, the only thing I felt like I owned was my pocketbook. He didn't even know why I always had my bag with me. But in my mind I thought, 'If something jumps off... I'm ready.' I lived like that for a long time. I used to wish, hope and dream that someone would kidnap me."
When she spoke about their marriage to Parade, she mentioned how she believed she didn't deserve real happiness. "I grew up with such dysfunction that I was just used to it. I assumed that I didn’t have a right to be a happy in a personal life," she said.
"If I had a career and all these other things, I thought, ‘you asked for it, you got it.’ But I look back at it now and I feel that part of that was my fault, for allowing the relationship to linger — or, dare I say, fester — for so long."
However, she found the courage to end her controlling marriage and move on from the emotional abuse. What helped her get through the tough phase was continuing with singing and expressing herself.
It was in 1997 that she divorced her first husband, eventually walking away with the positive and moving past the heartache, "I do believe that I learned a lot from him, and that he really did believe in my talent and I am very grateful for that."
As the 5-time Grammy Award winner sang in her song, Side Effects, she "kept my tears inside" saying it was because "I knew if I started I’d keep crying for the rest of my life. It’s really true. At that point in my life [during my marriage] I didn’t cry because I had to be so emotionally cut off to deal with it."
Carey also added, "I’ve faced my worst fears and come out of them okay. Everything is always going to be all right as long as I hang on to the person inside of me."