Juan: He played such a big role in my youth. Probably at this point I have friends that are older, but I'm not as close and. He was a was, is, but was significantly important person to me. I never would've expected that we wouldn't be speaking really.
Anna Sale: This is Death, Sex and Money.
The show from WNYC about the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more. I’m Anna Sale.
Our closest and longest relationships are often built on a foundation of sameness: the families we grow up in, the place we are from, the religion we practice.
In your stories of estrangement, many of you talked about the jolt of realizing that someone you once thought of as similar suddenly appeared very different.
Juan: I am struggling with my best friend. Once Donald Trump arrived on the scene, he started to focus on this conspiracy narrative.
Juan is 50 and a Colombian American who lives in Northern Virginia. He wrote to us about a close friendship that had recently fallen apart.
They’d been friends since Juan was a teenager in Miami. His friend was one of the first Colombian Americans his age that Juan had ever gotten close to. They met at a party.
Juan: And I just showed up at this apartment with full of strangers, and at the end of the night, we ended up walking out together. He and I walked out together and he literally said, ‘I think I'd like to be a friend with you. I'd like to be friends with you. You seem interesting.’ I was like, that's a unique approach, I like it. I'm like, ‘let's be friends. Let's be friends.’
Anna Sale: Oh, that's nice. So he like, uh, he made it official.
Juan: Yes. He, he really did. I think it is something that is not common among mostly Latino men. And he is very unique in that regard. He was always someone who was always affectionate, and at peace with his way of being affectionate and kind, so it was, it was just kind of the two of us on our own let loose on the world a little bit.
Anna Sale: They stayed close as they got older, even as their careers and life paths diverged. After Juan moved away from Miami in his 20s, he and his friend spent less time together physically, but they moved their conversation online—to email, then to WhatsApp, in a group chat with two other friends.
In recent years politics started coming up more and more and it got uncomfortable for Juan.
Juan: I was one, the one sort of soul liberal in a group of four, and I think the momentum on Trump, on politics that was ‘outside of the mainstream’ was starting to ramp up.
Anna Sale: What were the sorts of things that they were saying that they believed were sincerely held beliefs that that sounded to you like conspiracy, but what was the language that they would use?
Juan: You know, Epstein, Clinton. One inch away from pizza pedophile and DC story, and I was just like, I cannot even go there. Let's not do that. I'm not somebody who supports pedophiles – it's absolutely coo coo, and I was starting to make statements back saying, can we talk about our kids? Can we talk about sports? Can we talk about how our lives are going, like we used to?
Anna Sale: And did you ever have a conversation with him where you said, like, where you sort of indicated that the friendship was at risk?
Juan: What, what happened with him was I felt like I was, I felt like I was sort of set up for a, for a, for a moment. He mentioned something, he asked for my opinion, and I felt that instead of receiving that opinion, he took it as a meatball that was being thrown at him and, and essentially said, you know, I'm crazy for having my opinions and I'm crazy for my political thoughts. And I responded and told him, well, the hubris that it takes to tell somebody how they should think has to be pretty high and that sort of blew it up. It blew it up pretty badly.
Anna Sale: What happened? How does it blow up all caps? Insults?
Juan: He insulted me and oddly enough, he kicked me out of the WhatsApp group. Those other two guys were people I introduced him to. But he said, don't ever tell me to shut up again. And then the B word and kicked me out of my own group of friends.
Anna Sale: Bitch?
Juan: Yes. He said, ‘don't ever tell me to shut up again, bitch.’ That's what he wrote, and he kicked me out. [LAUGHS]
When we talked, Juan told us he and his friend hadn’t spoken in about a year.
Juan is definitely not alone. According to a 2022 poll conducted by the New York Times and Siena college, nearly one in five voters — 19 percent — said that politics had hurt their friendships or family relationships.
But ending a relationship with close friends or family over politics, or how you see the world can feel extreme. You try to talk around it.
Jennifer: When I see them, it would just be a polite, ‘Hello, how are you?”
Robbie: She calls my sister and I, and like, super sweet mom voice, just trying to love us and have relationships with us and pretending that none of that is weird.
Erica: Do I just keep my distance from my family without saying anything or should I say something?
Natasha: I'm talking about anger and it's steaming and bubbling and about to boil over.
Anna Sale: And then, for some of you, there came a moment when your differences became two separate paths.
Alexandra: I said to him, like, ‘do you understand what a big deal this is?’
Sarah: I said that I needed a break from, from the toxicity.
Danielle: That I was done. And frankly, I don't forgive.
Gina-Marie: I told him not to speak to me until he could change his behavior and not yell at me. And to be completely honest with you, I've had a wonderful three years.
Anna Sale: This is our second episode in our series about estrangement. Last week, we heard from a listener in the beginning stages, just thinking about estrangement, weighing what he would gain and all that he would lose. This week, we meet listeners who are estranged, and pretty recently.
For some of them, estrangement is a fresh start. A shedding that brings with it, a sense of relief.
But even when it’s felt really right, it’s also sometimes been really sad.
Sonia: If my parents had like, died in a car crash 248 days ago I think like everybody around me would be like sensitive to the fact that I'm grieving, but because the estrangement is kind of this thing that there's no like public rituals for it, people might see me and I'm like, high functioning, and yet I carry all that grief with me.
This is a listener we’re calling Sonia. She’s lived on a different continent than her Polish parents since she was in her 20s. She’s now in her late 30s, living in Brooklyn with her husband, infant twins and a three-year-old.
When she became a parent, one of the ways she tried to keep a connection with her parents was through language, and she spoke exclusively to her son in Polish.
Sonia: It felt like it was our private, like, intimate language. It also felt very cumbersome because obviously for like, the first years like the kid doesn't say anything. And so it just sounds like I'm talking to myself in this language and like when other people would be around, I would sometimes feel self-conscious because they couldn't understand anything.
Anna Sale: Like you're muttering to yourself in the corner, where in actuality you’re talking to your child. They're just not responding whatsoever. [LAUGHS]
Sonia’s parents came to visit last Christmas. She hadn’t seen them since before the pandemic. It was a big deal to get to share her family with them and she did a lot to prepare.
Sonia: So my mother-in-law, she has an apartment in Brooklyn. And so I made sure that they had, like, food there. I went grocery shopping. My dad drinks black tea, so I made sure they had black tea and the blankets on the bed, they're like all different in Europe.
And so my mom had asked me to get her something that was more familiar, so I had ordered it on Amazon. I had gone and, like, changed the bed. I actually reorganized my son's room and we moved, he had Polish books, but they were in the minority, but like I rearranged them so there would be a lot of Polish books on his shelf.
Anna Sale: Visible?
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm. What happened when they arrived?
Sonia: So I picked them up from the airport and things seemed good. And then the next day they came together and they met my baby twins who were six months old. And so there was a lot of holding the baby, each baby. And then my, my, my son who's three and a half, he's kind of a wild card, so first, he like, played with them, but then he was like, he also said things like, ‘go away,’ or ‘I want you to go home,’ and that happened very quickly and I could sense that my dad was like having this like strong reaction that was like building up in him.
Anna Sale: And then what happened?
Sonia: Basically, one thing that's started going on my nerves is that my dad had, like, I became very aware that he was picking on me. So he would be like, ‘you told us the wrong password for the wifi.’ Or like, ‘you sent us to the wrong store.’ And like, a lot of the times it was like his fault because he had not listened.
So a lot of it would be like teasing me or picking on me, and I feel, I guess I had reached like, a boiling point because I had just given birth to two babies, and one of them had been in the NICU and we hadn't slept for like, three months. And like any person who would like, enter my apartment usually would come and like, to help me.
Anna Sale: mm-hmm.
Sonia: And so that was the first trigger that I said like, ‘well, I don't like you picking on me.’ And that led to like, a first explosion. And then also over the time they had like been picking on me, but also on my son. Where like, my son didn't wanna speak Polish and my dad just in Polish said like, ‘You have to speak Polish.’ Like as if he would just push a button and like Polish would come out of my son.
Anna Sale: This upset her. A lot. Sonia decided she needed to try something different with her parents and be very direct. So she wrote them a letter.
Sonia: It said like, ‘I'm sorry, we're having a hard time. I would love to spend like a good Christmas together.’ And then I said, ‘you may not criticize me or my family.’ And so I gave my dad the letter. He looked at it, he threw it away and then he said, ‘I'm done. I'm not gonna come for Christmas. And please tell your husband to rebook out tickets.’ And then my dad said this thing that sounded very rehearsed and he said, ‘I'm done with your son. Like, I'm not gonna keep trying any longer.’
Anna Sale: With a three-year-old?
Sonia: Mm-hmm, and then my mom said the same thing: ‘we're not gonna keep trying with your son. He's so disrespectful, and he's disrespectful because you are disrespectful.’ And I think that to me was so traumatizing when they said that they were done with my child that the next day I said, I'm gonna rebook the tickets just so they could return like five days earlier. Once they landed in Poland and they send me the text saying like, ‘we landed,’ that's when I blocked their phone numbers and their email addresses.
Anna Sale: Why did you do that?
Sonia: Because I guess what I had realized during the visit was that I myself had like, internalized a lot of stuff. So whenever they would get upset at me, I would blame myself. I would think like, ‘Oh, I did something wrong’ and that triggered this maybe outsized reaction, but it was like partly my fault. But then when I saw how they treated my child, I just, I just found it unforgivable.
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm. When you, when you saw the way that, uh, your father treated your three-year-old child is it, did you recognize it? Is it ways that he treated you as a kid or, or even as adult?
Sonia: Yeah. The thing that I realized the way my dad was treating my son would be like silent treatment. So he would go into my son's room and my son would say, ‘I wanna be alone.’ Which is something I've been teaching him, to assert his boundaries with everybody. But then like five minutes later he, my son would come out and say to my dad, like, ‘Can you help me decorate the Christmas tree?’ And my dad would say no.
Anna Sale: mm-hmm.
Sonia: Because he was still upset that my son had like, quote-unquote rejected him.
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm.
Sonia: And so, yes, I did recognize the patterns, but I recognized that they must have treated me like that when I was a child.
Anna Sale: Yeah. I think the tricky thing with, with maintaining boundaries, it can be, in my experience, I can get in these loops of like, I'm trying to like, really inhabit the best intentions of the people that I know, that they probably don't know that they're having this impact.
Especially with parents, you know, where you see their limitations. When you try to figure out if there's a way to come to a place of compassion and let them be how they are. When you think about your parents and you think about just how different your lives look right now and where you have lived and how people deal with emotional stress, how different that is, are there moments when you think, ‘Oh, this isn't, This isn't only personal. This is also, that we are, we are living in different worlds’?
Sonia: I guess it's an interesting question because my parents would, now that I was in the U.S., they would often use that against me. So my mom would say like, ‘I wanna come and like stay with you for like a month or two.’ And I would say, ‘Well, I would prefer if you stayed like maybe two weeks.’ And then she would say, ‘You're so American, you're so superficial, like you don't value hospitality.’
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm.
Sonia: And I think for a while I would kind of buy into that. But right now, where I'm right now, I just see it as more universal patterns of immaturity and manipulation.
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm.
Sonia: But I think back to your question about the loops. I think I, that's what I'm struggling with the most is like, I have like rumination
Anna Sale: mm-hmm.
Sonia: And it's endless. And so, so a lot of the rumination is like, what could I have done differently? Like, could I have said it more gently? Or could I have affirmed their feelings more? And I guess what I'm trying, what I'm starting to understand is that whenever I feel guilt, it's actually a way to not feel sadness. Because whenever I think like, ‘Oh, I feel guilty if I had just done something differently,’ then I can tell myself like, ‘I could have some control over their behavior.’
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm.
Sonia: But whenever I say like, ‘their behavior is abusive,’ then I have to deal with this kind of, the sadness and the tragic of that.
Anna Sale: Are you speaking Polish with your son?
Sonia: No. And so the weird thing that happened, is that as my parents left and like that day, I just stopped speaking Polish. I just can't bring myself to speak it because the whole point of speaking Polish was to like, pass that language on, so my children could speak with their grandparents. But the whole reason why I don't wanna be in touch with my parents is I don't want them around my children.
Anna Sale: Yeah. It's now been about eight months.
Sonia: Yeah. Or it's been 248 days
Anna Sale: Oh, you're counting the days.
Sonia: Mm-hmm. And I just wanted to mention like the way I track time, there's like all the different ways, like the seasons change, but also because, I have the, my twin babies, I like, I keep, so when my parents were here, my, my twins, like, they were not very mobile. They had zero teeth. They had little hair. And now they have like, lots of teeth and they like, both walk and like the hair is like, long and it curled up, and so anytime they meet a milestone, I think like, ‘Oh my gosh, like, my parents are missing out on that’ and it breaks my heart.
Anna Sale: Is there a way that your parents could reach you if they tried right now?
Sonia: Well, one thing that hasn't changed is my home address and, so I guess at some point I like, fantasize that they would write like, an apology and mail it.
Anna Sale: mm-hmm.
Sonia: They could even call my husband. Like, he didn't block them.
Anna Sale: When you fantasize about a letter coming in the mail with an apology, is there anything in particular you wish you would hear from them?
Sonia: I mean, I guess like, I fantasize about just a regular apology, which would be, ‘We love you. We're sorry we hurt you. We wanna know how you're really feeling and we wanna do better. Please tell us how we can do better, because we really wanna have a relationship with you.’ I guess maybe one thing that these fantasy parents and a fantasy letter could say would be, ‘you are a good daughter and you are a good parent.’
Anna Sale: Coming up, another story of estrangement, one that started when a civil war divided a family.
Dinona: I was, so I traveled Ethiopia on November 3rd, and I woke up to war the next day.
Anna Sale: We’ve been talking with listeners about their stories of estrangement for months, reading every email and listening to every voice memos. We heard from a lot of you about the stigma and shame around estrangement. It’s not easy to broadcast that you aren’t close with your family. Sadness, and healing, often happens in private.
So, if this is something you’ve gone through, we want to know what’s helped you that might be helpful to someone else? Has a book – fiction or nonfiction – or an online community been helpful? Is there a movie or phrase or saying, that’s been particularly useful in navigating through the dark woods of estrangement? We want to hear from you if you’ve chosen estrangement, like Sonia, or you’re on the other side and estrangement happened to you. What has helped you feel less alone, and what resources or advice would you pass on to someone else?
You can email us or record a voicememo and send it to email at Death Sex Money at WNYC dot org. We’ll share some of your responses in our weekly newsletter or in next week’s episode. And if you don’t already get our weekly newsletter, you can subscribe at deathsexmoney.org/newsletter.
Anna Sale: This is Death, Sex & Money from WNYC. I’m Anna Sale.
Sometimes family rifts happen because someone did something, and other times it’s because of who someone turns out to be. Since Dinona realized she was queer, she knew it was a matter of time before it caused a major rift in her family.
Dinona: I just knew at some point in my life, I'm going to lose my family. And it was when I realized I was queer.
Anna Sale: Dinona was born in Ethiopia and came to the United States when she was 11. That’s not her name. She still hasn’t told her family she’s queer.
But that’s not what has caused them to break apart like she expected it one day might. Instead it was war. Specifically, the civil war that broke out in Ethiopia two years ago.
Dinona: seeing like the sheer amount of Ethiopians that were pro-war, pro-genocide, pro a siege and denying everything as it was happening. And so I'm like, I have nothing in common with these people. Nothing.
Anna Sale: Hundreds of thousands have died from violence and famine. Dinona has family on both sides of the conflict. Three half brothers, who share a father with Dinona, and their wives, who live in the U.S., support the government, who has targeted violence in an area called Tigray, where Dinona's mother is from.
Dinona: There’s always the threat of being arrested, being disappeared.
Anna Sale: Even as her mother was in danger, Dinona noticed her siblings in the U.S. didn't bring it up with her.
Dinona: over time I noticed that they did not call me. They didn't text me. They didn't call my mom and I was just wondering, like, what's going on? Like, why aren't they at least calling to say, like, have you guys heard from family in Tigray?
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm. Are you safe? Are they safe?
Dinona: Yeah. Are they safe? Have you heard anything?
Anna Sale: Then Dinona went on Facebook, and saw that her sisters-in-law were celebrating the war, saying that people from Tigray – like her mother – deserved the violence that was coming to them, and should be starved out.
Dinona: I was so confused and sad and heartbroken.I didn't know like, how to even brush the subject. Like I, I didn't know how to talk to them about it, so I didn't.
Anna Sale: I understand that since you first wrote us, you sent a text.
Anna Sale: What did you wanna say to your family members?
Dinona: So I said I'm really heartbroken, really sad and traumatized by the lack of care they showed regarding my family and the genocide and if I feel ready, when I feel ready, I will reach out.
Anna Sale: And did they respond?
Dinona: Yes, they responded so immediately. I didn't expect them to. They responded and one brother accused me of choosing one side of my family over the other, and that made me feel so angry because if like, I just knew that he doesn't know me. So I was just, so I was like, okay, well, am I, what am I losing? And then, and then, yeah, and then I blocked him.
Anna Sale: You blocked him.
Anna Sale: After that encounter over text. Were you by yourself?
Dinona: No, I wasn't. Thankfully two of my friends were in the house, so I just ran to them and told them to like, hug me and like, tell me I'm gonna be okay. And like, help me craft like a response.
Anna Sale: Do you feel, I realize it's still quite fresh, but since that text exchange and finding comfort with these friends, have you started to think differently about who is your family that you can rely on?
Dinona: Yes, yes, the type of love I experience from my friends doesn’t even come close to the type that I have with my family. I don’t even know how to describe like, what I have with my family, because it doesn’t feel like love. Because it doesn’t feel welcoming like, to who I am as a person.
Anna Sale: So much of how we first come to understand our identity, comes from the family where we grow up, and the place where we come from?
Anna Sale: And I wonder if losing a sense of connection with both of those things, feeling like you don't belong with those identities anymore, like, do you, do you feel like you're having to sort of rewrite who you are?
Dinona: Yeah. I feel like I've been doing that for a while now. Like knowing as like an immigrant, a Black queer immigrant, like I'm never gonna feel like, I belong here and I go back to Ethiopia and I have to like negotiate everything about myself. Make myself palatable for safety reasons. And my ideas and my views and ideas have been tested and they’ve changed and I'm making very intentional choices about who I am and how I want to live my life, and that makes me feel like I belong to myself and I belong to people like my friends, to other queer immigrants from east Africa.
Anna Sale: Can you describe like paint a picture for me of when you've recently felt that sense of belonging? Like where were you? Who were you with? What were you doing?
Dinona: It’s been happening a lot. I remember me and my Eritrean-American friend went on a bike ride, like on a trail.
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm
Dinona: And we were like, biking for a while and playing music, taking turns, playing music, and I felt like, in that moment all of my identities were being seen cuz they also speak Tigrinya. And we can like, make jokes about our culture, and talk about our culture like the commonalities in our cultures.
Anna Sale: Your friend is also queer?
Dinona: Yes. I felt like I could hold, there was enough space for everything.
After the break, someone on the other side of estrangement – a mother who received a letter four years ago from her daughter, cutting off their relationship.
Megan: I must have read it several times and just the earth opened up in a way that I couldn’t have imagined. Just a real tectonic, ‘wow!’
This is Death, Sex & Money from WNYC. I’m Anna Sale.
When we first started gathering your estrangement stories, we asked you to share how it felt: was it like a long pulling away or like flipping a switch?
For Dinona and Sonia, and others who did the estranging, it was both. A confusing lead-up, and then a clear moment of decision, and being able to block people on their phones made the cut cleaner.
For people on the other side of estrangement, who’ve been blocked or abruptly estranged from, that suddenness can feel unbelievable, like another reality.
Megan: Went out to the porch. It was January and it was cold. And I remember picking up the note and being so excited by having a note from my daughter, and then I just opened it and just read the words and I just, time stopped, I think.
Anna Sale: A listener we’re calling Megan is in her 50s, divorced, and lives alone in coastal Maine. Four years ago, when she opened the note from her daughter, who was 27 at the time, the reasons she listed for why she wanted no more contact were vague, but what was clear was that her daughter did not want her mother reaching back out for more explanation.
Megan: Mostly it was she needed me to stop trying to contact her and that if in the future, you know, wherever were to cross paths or we were to see one another, that she would treat me coolly. She was preparing me for, this is a long, a long thing I need.
Anna Sale: one of the difficulties of these interviews, Megan, that we've been having around estrangement is that it's, it can be quite difficult to, you know, to sort of figure out what happened because the, the points of view can be so starkly different. To the best of your ability at this point now, thinking about what your daughter experienced, in her relationship with you and, and why she wanted to create a lot of distance, and boundaries, and new rules, why do you think she wanted to become estranged from you?
Megan: Yeah. Well that's a question I've pondered a lot. And I think some of my lack of communication skills and inability to see her,
Anna Sale: What, what do you mean by that?
Megan: Uh, you know I think about it now in the wake of the, the split up. We had what we, my ex and I would call a good divorce, but I think now, knowing what I know perhaps wasn't that way for my children because they were confused because there was a lot of emotional things going on, but probably the stoic in myself and, and their father, we never, we never got messy about it.
We got messy, but not messy about it, you know? Our range of emotional literacy didn't go much beyond happy, sad love, and I'm angry. And again, those things were not, not encouraged to dwell or to root around in any of those kinds of, ‘Well, I, I'm, I'm sorry to hear that. Can you tell me more?’ We didn't do that kind of, you know, chat and I don't know if it's, cuz we didn't grow up having that or because we are afraid of 'em, of somebody falling apart.
Anna Sale: Megan said she raised her children with the tools she was given from her mother.
Megan’s mother is still living and in her late 90s now, and when she heard about what was going on, she wrote her own letter, ‘If this continued,’ she wrote to her granddaughter, ‘there would be no inheritance.’
Megan: ‘You’re not welcome here and furthermore, anything you might have gotten when I pass, is not coming to you.’ It's pretty straightforward.
Anna Sale: Is that threat still in place?
Anna Sale: Mm. You haven't challenged your mother on that.
Anna Sale: How do you know that she wrote to your daughter?
Megan: I was there when she was, she asked me. It was within weeks I was visiting her and it was within weeks of the note and again. Yeah. So, and she, she told me she was gonna do it and I didn't. I was pretty raw in those months. I didn't know much about how to do anything about the situation. I did not research, you know, the whole issue. I didn't go online to find a like minded group of people that this has happened to, to try and find the answers. I didn't wanna go down a rabbit hole of wallowing about it. And so I didn't, with my mother, I didn't, I just didn't know. I just wasn't trying to, I didn't know what the right answer was, so I just let her do what she felt she needed to do.
Anna Sale: Mm-hmm. And when you say a wallow there, I hear you. I hear that stoic part of you.
Megan: [LAUGHS] Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, and luckily I've got girlfriends that are pretty damn good about calling me on my stoicism and saying, yeah, how are you really feeling? And then, and then the tears come, and then it's like, Okay. Yeah. Yeah. It's really humbling being human. It's so humbling being a parent.
Anna Sale: That’s something I want to hear you reflect on. How do you think about parental love and what you can expect from it as a mother?
Megan: Yeah, you know, I think most of us, I could be wrong, but I certainly entered parenthood with a great deal of enthusiasm and energy, and I have to say, when I got that note in the mail, I had that very, very visceral sort of, it's not right. All of those years and all of that energy. One of the things that's shifted for me over the course of the four years is a great deal of respect for my daughter, for having the courage to send that note. It can't be easy cuz it's, it's nice to have a mother and so.
Anna Sale: Yeah.
Megan: You know, this is the roots and wings, this is the wings part. They gotta be able to fly the best and if they don't come back, they don't come back. And it's not up to me. Our children are the only ones who know what they need. And while I wish like heck, you know, they felt like they enjoyed, you know, their parents, I can't force it. So, they don't always work. Family bonds don't work.
Anna Sale: That was a listener we are calling Megan.
A couple of updates since we’ve taped these interviews: Out of the blue Juan’s friend sent him a conspiracy video on youtube about the coronavirus. A couple of weeks later Juan reached out to his friend during Hurricane Ian to check if he was safe, and since then, they’ve exchanged a few texts.
Dinona says she still hasn’t spoken to her half brothers living in the United States, and she’s had extremely limited contact with her family in Ethiopia. In early November 2022, both sides of the conflict committed to a cease fire, but Dinona says she still worries about her family.
And as of this episode release, it’s been 345 days since Sonia has talked to her Polish parents.
On the next, and final episode of this series, we hear from Juliet who decided to see her mother after years of not talking.
Juliet: No, I wasn't questioning. I knew that I wanted to do this. It was just, it's the unknown, right? It's the like, what is she gonna look like? What are we gonna talk about? What should I say? You know, like all of those kinds of nerves happening in that moment and like, you know, how do I greet this person? Do we hug? Do I shake her hand?
Anna Sale: You can find every episode of this series on our website at deathsexmoney.org/estrangement.
Death, Sex & Money is a listener-supported production of WNYC Studios in New York. This episode was produced by Zoe Azulay.
The rest of our team is Liliana Maria Percy Ruiz, Afi Yellow-Duke, Tracie Hunte, Lindsay Foster Thomas, and Andrew Dunn, who composed original music for this series. Julia Furlan and Lilly Clark also worked on this series.
The Reverend John Delore and Steve Lewis wrote our theme music.
I’m on Instagram @annasalepics. The show is @deathsexmoney on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Thank you to Sarah Brown in Charleston, West Virginia for being a sustaining member of Death, Sex, & Money, and supporting us with a monthly donation. Shout out to my hometown. You can join Sarah and support what we do here by going to deathsexmoney.org/donate.
One thing Sonia left me thinking about was how tricky it can be when you’re setting new relationship boundaries based on the behavior of a three-year-old.
Sonia: There was also like, a moment where my son like, hit my dad, but again, like my son. Like it's the same kid who like a year ago would lick the electrical outlets. Like, it's like, a kid, right?
Anna Sale: I’m Anna Sale and this is Death, Sex & Money from WNYC.