E! sat down with 'Wizards of Waverly Place'-turned-music-star Selena Gomez for an hour-long special which aired on June 29, and in front of the camera, Gomez gave fans her life story: Raw and uncut. It's easy to tell that beneath the fame and the riches, the teen idol is really just a humble girl trying to keep it real, though she has faced some real battles in her life -- especially while dating Justin Bieber.

Similarly to her boyfriend, Selena Gomez is sort of a rags-to-riches story. She grew up the daughter of a teenage mom and often survived on a mac and cheese diet, but admires that her mother was always strong for her and practically gave up everything so that she could be a star.

Once Selena decided that acting was her calling, she auditioned alongside Demi Lovato for a spot on Barney, which they both snagged. Before long, Gomez found herself on the road to Los Angeles to become a Disney sensation, though making the switch from her slowed-down Texas lifestyle to life in the spotlight is not her favorite memory. "I cried every single night for probably three months," she admits, adding that she hated L.A. in the beginning.

Like many stars do, Gomez eventually found her way onto the music scene. "I had always wanted to do music, but it was always about timing with me," says Gomez, who just released her third studio album with Selena Gomez and the Scene, 'When the Sun Goes Down.' "I wanted to make my show the best it was and really give it the attention that it needed before I really even tried music."

Now that she's well immersed in all things entertainment, from movies to television to music, Gomez has added new challenges to her belt. Sure, her life may seem like glitz and glam from the outside, but Selena says her fame came with some unwanted attention. "You kind of can't experience growing up alone without the entire world having an opinion about it," she spills. As for the paparazzi, she doesn't handle their never-ending attention well at all. "If you see any pictures of me, most of the time my head is down and stays down. It's very awkward for me to have a grown man in my face with a camera when I'm out to dinner with my family or something. I don't think I'll ever get used to that."

In fact, with everything she has going on, Selena rarely has the time to take a deep breath. "I don't realize how much I have going on until I have those moments where I break down, because it's so much," she says.

In addition to her mom, Gomez confides in her friend Taylor Swift a lot, because they can relate to one another, being that they're both from ultra fame. "That's why I love her, that's why she's probably one of my best friends is because she takes me away from all of it," Gomez says of Swift.

Of course, dating Justin Bieber must have its perks, right? Not always -- when the news broke that they'd paired up, Gomez received countless death threats from Beliebers who believed they should be the ones standing in her place. "I feel like I try to do my best to keep it as private as possible, but at the same time I don't want to sit there and hide," Gomez says of her relationship. "I am 18 so I want to live my life, and I don't want to live it in fear … Ever."

She adds, "I want to be known for my work. I don't want to be known for what I'm wearing or who I'm dating." Selena recognizes that her life revolves around a "very superficial job" and admits that sometimes, she does get caught up in it, which is so unhealthy and why, she says, "I surround myself with people who bring me back there quickly."

When asked whether Selena Gomez is hiding scandal under her skin, Taylor Swift says, "She's really a happy 18-year-old girl who's trying to figure out her life, and who's doing an excellent job of maneuvering every curve in the road with grace."

Watch Part 6 of the E! Selena Gomez Special

Watch Part 7 of the E! Selena Gomez Special