In her deeply personal memoir, They’re Playing Our Song, legendary songwriter Carole Bayer Sager reflects on how difficult it was to be raised by a domineering mother. The constant criticism she faced throughout her childhood, Carole says, manifested into a crippling, lifelong anxiety. As a result, Carole found herself in therapy at age 21.

    “Sometimes I sat in my therapist’s office for a day when she couldn’t even see me,” Carole tells Oprah, “but she was kind enough to let me stay in her living room because I didn’t know how to live in the world without fear. I mean, I was very damaged as a very little girl. Some people are more sensitive. Sometimes it’s in the womb. Who knows. I don’t blame anyone. I forgive my mother completely. I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to Oprah Winfrey if I didn’t have my mother who brought me into this world. I forgive her because she made me push—”

    “And strive,” Oprah says.

    “To be seen and heard,” Carole says.

    In the above video, Oprah and Carole discuss why being deprived of a nurturing childhood might have led to their heightened drive to succeed.