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Family Secrets

Author: iHeartRadio

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Family Secrets. We all have them. And while the discovery of family secrets can initially be terrifying or traumatic, often these discoveries have the power to liberate, heal, and even uplift us. Join Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of the memoir Inheritance, and her guests as they explore astonishing family secrets and uncover the extraordinary lessons the truth can teach us.

93 Episodes
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Pulp Fictions

Pulp Fictions

2020-11-2648:462

Julia McKenzie Munemo’s late father made his living by churning out trashy novels—that was about as much as she was willing to admit. But she had no desire to crack open any of the dusty paperbacks she inherited, until a nationwide reckoning made it clear she had no choice but to confront the racist legacy her dad left behind. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Old Boys’ Club

Old Boys’ Club

2020-11-1901:10:224

During her second year at an elite New England boarding school, Lacy Crawford was brutally assaulted by two senior boys. When the extent of the damage they’d done became clear, the school placed the blame squarely on her. Years later, Lacy would learn just how hard the institution worked to silence her. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Girl Planet

Girl Planet

2020-11-1246:331

For the first 40 years of her life, Jennifer Finney Boylan figured the price of living her truth would be much too steep; by opening up about who she really was, she assumed she’d lose everything, including the love of her life. But over time, it became clear that hiding who she really was had taken its own toll—on herself, on her family, and on her marriage. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Burning It Down

Burning It Down

2020-11-0548:276

Nick Flynn was 7 years old when his house burned down. The official story, the one everyone laughed about, was that raccoons had knocked over the family’s Hibachi grill and set the house on fire. Decades later, Nick learned that’s not what happened at all—and started to understand the depth of his mother’s desperation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Kasha

Kasha

2020-10-2950:061

Outwardly, Susan Burton had it all—a degree from Yale, a thriving career, a loving husband and kids. Inside, Susan waged a war on herself, using food as a way to exert control over the discomfort she felt in her own skin. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
The Second Secret

The Second Secret

2020-10-2249:007

Lindsay Roemer assumed she’d metabolized, and mostly moved on from, the secret that had been kept from her most of her life—until an unexpected Facebook message from a man she’d never met changed everything she thought she knew about her father. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
You Used to Smile

You Used to Smile

2020-10-1545:198

The smart, opinionated, funny women who raised Saeed Jones—his mother and his grandmother—had a profound influence on his identity. But it was the things they couldn’t talk about that echoed the loudest with Saeed as he began to navigate adulthood, trying to figure out where he fit in as a gay Black man from the South. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Getting By

Getting By

2020-10-0835:563

Singer Kanene Pipkin always loved her mother, but they weren’t exactly close. Until one day her mother called with some news Kanene couldn’t wrap her head around—news that would change their relationship, and Kanene’s understanding of what it means to be a family, forever. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
The Wire

The Wire

2020-10-0142:209

Ruthie Lindsey attracted a massive following with her picture-perfect lifestyle shots on Instagram. But what those images didn’t show was everything that came before, including an accident that nearly killed her, a painkiller addiction that might have finished the job—and the unconditional love of a family determined to pull her out of the darkness. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Bug Dust

Bug Dust

2020-04-0938:4119

For years, Steven Romo just didn’t talk about the bleak landscape of his childhood—not with friends, and certainly not with his colleagues at the TV station where he works as an anchor. Until a headline that reminded him of his upbringing inspired him to open up about what he’s been through, giving everyone a glimpse at the pain he kept hidden beneath his polished, professional exterior.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
The Red Potion

The Red Potion

2020-04-0235:5418

Janny Scott grew up on an 800-acre British-style estate outside Philadelphia with a loving, gregarious father who was always the life of the party. But underneath her father’s light exterior was a darkness he struggled to keep at bay—a lifelong effort that would eventually cause him to self-destruct. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Fever Coat

Fever Coat

2020-03-2634:1413

When Axton Betz-Hamilton was in middle school, her family’s mail started going missing. Her parents told her that they’d been the victims of an identity thief, and that the perpetrator was likely someone close to them. Slowly, they began to shut out the world, enveloping Axton in a bubble of paranoia and secrecy—an atmosphere that didn’t allow her to see what was right in front of her until decades later. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Growing up, Adam Frankel idolized his father and his father’s father, eventually following in their footsteps to become a successful speechwriter for politicians like John Kerry and Barack Obama. But at the age of 25, Adam discovered a truth that caused him to question everything—including his place in the lineage he’d molded his life around.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Cold People

Cold People

2020-03-1235:5413

For most of her young life, Lisa Brennan-Jobs bounced back and forth between two very different homes—that of her mother, who raised Lisa alone for the first few years of her life and struggled to make ends meet; and that of her father, Steve Jobs, who lived exactly the way you’d expect the founder of a multimillion dollar tech company to but struggled to relate to the daughter he initially denied was his. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Too Busy to Die

Too Busy to Die

2020-03-0546:5216

Addiction breeds denial, in both the addict and his loved ones. And when that addiction comes wrapped in a busy, successful, ambitious package like Eilene Zimmerman’s ex-husband, a respected Silicon Valley attorney, it’s especially easy to ignore the warning signs. Until it’s too late. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Jeanette

Jeanette

2020-02-2743:2316

Emily Bernard never felt close to her judgmental, domineering father, who, for most of her life, denied he’d ever been unfaithful to her mother. It wasn’t until her dad’s sudden death that Emily began the process of getting to know the woman who caused her family so much pain: her father’s longtime mistress. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
What do you do when you suspect that your own brother is to blame for the seemingly random acts of violence sending shockwaves through the country? Do you keep it to yourself in order to protect him? Or do you turn him in, potentially saving the lives of hundreds of strangers, but putting him at risk of a death sentence? David Kacyznski talks about his impossible choice, and the unlikely friendship he forged in the wake of his brother’s destruction. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
The Mysterious Boot Club

The Mysterious Boot Club

2020-02-1333:4310

As a child, Ariana Neumann stumbled upon a strange photo of her father, tucked away in a secret box he kept in his workshop. It was undeniably him, and yet the name in the caption didn’t belong to the man she grew up with. Decades later, Ariana inherits this box and the documents it contains, using them to slowly chip away at the mystery of who her father really was and the lies he had to tell in order to survive. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
The Lobster Shift

The Lobster Shift

2020-02-0645:3822

Even as a young child, Michael Hainey could sense that there was more to the story of his father’s death. But it wasn’t until he stumbled upon a small detail in an obituary—that his father died “after visiting friends”—that he began to understand the lengths those friends went to protect his father’s reputation, and to protect his family from the truth. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
Flying and Crashing

Flying and Crashing

2019-10-2445:2819

Kiese grew up in Oxford, Mississippi —the only child of a single mother, a black boy who struggled with weight. His childhood and adolescence were marked by two daily assaults: that of American racism, and America’s obsession with weight.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
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Comments (94)

P Larson

Wonderful story!

Nov 19th
Reply

Sherrie Lucas

This one was as good, as the last one was bad. She is genuine and smart. A good communicator.He missed out on so much of real life with his family, bc of being a narcissist. The more selfish a person is, the less happy they are. I'm sorry for his family.

May 16th
Reply

Sherrie Lucas

I have heard almost each one of these episodes. This one is so ridiculous. It's title is even the name of the 2nd person who had 100% conscious responsibility in destroying this family. She and Emily's father, were in full narcissistic mode. Destroying the mother and the family. After he dies, the daughter becomes friends with her, bc she says she's sorry?! What a betrayal to her mother. I understand wanting to know who your brother is, but not Jeannette. The mother should have left long ago. This is messed up, bad.

May 16th
Reply

Megan Langreck

Two self absorbed, dysegulated adults leaving suffering and unwanted discarded children in their wake. These are not "complicated" people. It almost glorifies the dysregulation and dysfunction to describe them thus. Too many episodes of this series are about erased, "forgotten", discarded children.

Apr 20th
Reply

Megan Langreck

Oh Jeez ... sad that she has to feel this infatuation for "the mob" and criminality. Sad that she idealizes it.

Apr 20th
Reply

aimee adams

fevercode

Mar 29th
Reply

Samira Vakilha

Thank you for sharing thus episode. I would like to know whether any transcript of this episode is available or not.

Mar 23rd
Reply

Susanne McIlwain Hatton

Such a touching and beautiful episode. I am crying and about to renew my audible subscription just for Ariana’s book. Thank you for the podcast and especially this episode and thank you Ariana for your honesty and pristine craftsmanship of your book 💙

Feb 20th
Reply

Joshua Hayden

this feels like my story in many ways 😔😔

Feb 8th
Reply

Heather Paxton

Love this podcast. Been waiting for new longer episodes for awhile though 😔

Jan 7th
Reply (2)

Sherrie Lucas

Extramarital affairs are wrong. This has nothing to do with what we believe in God. The parents and the church leaders handled this SO badly, not even thinking if the child. Only their own reputations.

Jan 5th
Reply

Megan Corker

I liked this podcast until they apparently ran out of content and started posting 'listener stories' :-/

Jan 3rd
Reply

Lucy Tobier

this should be sponsored by ancestry or 23andme

Dec 28th
Reply

Brandon N Tasha Dickenson

great one here!

Dec 14th
Reply

Brandon N Tasha Dickenson

a great one here

Dec 14th
Reply

Philly Burbs

to the women who's a dad is decon & wants nothing to do with her, I'm so sorry Rejection is one of the most heartbreaking feelings in the world, even worse by a family member. you don't know how your siblings feel. your father could have been a mean, abusive mother fucker & not having him in your life saved you years of torment. i know a few decons & they are not open-minded people. if ur siblings are on Ancestry or other sites looking for relatives, contact them. they are looking for you too.

Dec 14th
Reply

Lucy Tobier

this ain't about you danny!

Dec 8th
Reply

Janeth Quezada

what a beautiful, moving story. thank you for sharing ❤

Nov 18th
Reply

Pyretta Blaize

the audio is skipping for me

Nov 12th
Reply (1)

Chloe Watson

This episode was really deep. I can relate to a lot he's talking about.

Oct 30th
Reply (1)
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