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Estranged: When Family Bonds Break

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The image is split in two- on the left side is a family picture of a biracial Indian-American family with two young children. On the right side is an image of someone getting an incoming call from "Mom" and their finger is hovering over the button "Block." At the top the text reads: ESTRANGED.
Charnel Hunter

Anita has a close nuclear family unit but knows that's not the case for everyone. Meeting folks who — by choice or circumstance — are estranged from members of their family, she hears reflections on finding belonging elsewhere and seeking support from non-traditional sources. She also learns from two siblings who were estranged for more than 40 years that while reconciliation is possible, it's not for everyone.

Meet the Guests:

  • Writer Raksha Vasudevan talks about her estrangement from her father, mother and brother and how being an immigrant shapes how she thinks about her family story.
  • Tiffany Scott's father left their family and stopped speaking with her in 2016. She talks about what it was like to be ghosted by her dad and how she's still making sense of her family's experience.
  • Siblings Fern Schumer Chapman and Scott Schumer share their 40-year estrangement story and what led to their reconciliation eight years ago. Fern wrote the book “Brothers, Sisters, Strangers: Sibling Estrangement and the Road to Reconciliation.”

Read the transcript | Review the podcast

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Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist, host, creator, and executive editor of "Embodied," a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships & health.
Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She has been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. She's also the co-founder of the beloved summer event series Audio Under The Stars. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outside world with her family, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.