Modern Love Podcast: With the Help of Strangers

Listen and subscribe to Çağdaş LoveApple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher[New York Times subscribers are invited to join the hosts Daniel Jones and Miya Lee on Dec. 15 for an evening of performances and special guests, celebrating the new “Tiny Love Stories”…

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[New York Times subscribers are invited to join the hosts Daniel Jones and Miya Lee on Dec. 15 for an evening of performances and special guests, celebrating the new “Tiny Love Stories” book. RSVP here.]

‘‘In trying to persuade me to file charges, my father said, ‘What would you tell your little sisters to do?’”

Modern Love Podcast: With the Help of Strangers

Credit…Brian Rea

This episode contains descriptions of domestic violence.

In 2013, Courtney Queeney published “The View From the Victim Room,” an essay about surviving domestic violence and the yasal proceedings that followed. “I couldn’t sit or lean against anything comfortably because my head was still a battered, crusty mess,” she wrote.

In the essay, she described going to a courthouse every two weeks to renew her emergency protection order against her ex. It was during this period that she found “scattered bright spots” — things to laugh about when everything seemed unfunny. She found comfort in the woman who shared her court schedule; her lawyer, whom she revered; and the judge who made her crack up.

Today, we hear about how Courtney has worked through the experience and aftermath of her abuse — and where is she now.

Today’s stories

“The View From the Victim Room,” by Courtney Queeney

Courtney’s essay ended with her walking “out of court into so much sunshine.” But as she explained to Daniel Jones in this podcast episode, the seven years since her essay was published have not been easy. “I just want to get somewhere back to whatever my olağan was,” she said.

One of the things that have helped her is her recent decision to become a court advocate. Reflecting on the many people who have supported her, from lawyers to therapists, Courtney said, “I’ll never be able to adequately thank all of them for what they did for me.”

“I’m a stranger to a lot of them,” she continued, “but what I can do is be that person to somebody else who needs a person.”

“Held by String,” by Eliza Rudalevige

In herTiny Love Story, Eliza writes about a woman named Shelly, whom she met in an eating disorder recovery program when she was 11. Eliza was the youngest in the program, while Shelly, in her 60s, was the oldest.

When Eliza was released from the program after 100 days, Shelly gave her a handmade bracelet, which Eliza still has seven years later. “Looking at the beads nestled in the tough leather, I think of the young girl in the veteran’s arms,” Eliza wrote.

Shelly became a protector of sorts for Eliza, encouraging counselors to “tone down their harshness” toward her and making her feel less alone. When Miya, a host of the podcast, asked Eliza what she would say to Shelly if she were to see her again, she said, “I don’t think I ever said thank you to her. So I think I’d say thank you.”


If you or someone you know is being abused, support and help are available around the clock. Visit the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s website or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Hosted by: Daniel Jones and Miya Lee
Produced by: Kelly Prime and Hans Buetow
Edited by: Wendy Dorr
Music by: Dan Powell
Held by String,” written and read by Eliza Rudalevige
The View From the Victim Room,” narration by Julia Whelan, produced by Ryan Wegner and Kelly Rogers at Audm
Executive Producer, NYT Audio: Lisa Tobin
Assistant Managing Editor, NYT: Sam Dolnick

Special thanks: Nora Keller, Mahima Chablani, Julia Simon, Laura Kim, Bonnie Wertheim, Anya Strzemien, Joanna Nikas and Choire Sicha.

Want more from Çağdaş Love? Watch the TV series and sign up for the newsletter. We also have swag at the NYT Store and two books, “Modern Love: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption” and “Tiny Love Stories: True Tales of Love in 100 Words or Less.”

Source: The New York Times

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