…with a wild surmise

I am mortally offended and in touch with many years of anger. I see who and what I am dealing with. 

I am not sure what to do. Two have resigned, and four are considering it. Ride it out, says another colleague. Perhaps, but the big change for me is that I see we are dealing with people who do not act in good faith. I had been advised to consider them merely incompetent but what they do, they do not do in error.

Another colleague said it was impossible to advance because the institution does not want to improve, and works against it actively. It might be important to stop interacting with these forces, stop fighting for rights, stop working for collegiality; ignore them completely and work on nothing that cannot be translated into hard data.

I had always assumed that I was considered to have legitimate expertise and to be honest and sincere, but I discover now that it is precisely these characteristics of mine which are questioned. They were the things assumed about me as a child: that I was not competent and would not be, and that I would attempt to compensate for that by taking advantage of others.

Someone similar must be projecting the same things into me now. I should stop allowing these projections to destabilize me. I should have a protection spell cast so that they glance off my diaphanous shield.

Things to remember, or even say to some:

+ I am legitimate.
+ I see why those who wanted more of a certain kind of work out of me are disappointed. I am also disappointed not to have been given better conditions.
+ Those people should remember how they instructed me not to do that work, but to do other work.
+ They should note how well that work was done.
+ But most importantly: I am exhausting myself, yes; but it is not by working too hard on my work, it is by defending against their strangeness.

I really do not want to spend any more time questioning my right to exist, or defending it, including on this weblog.


6 thoughts on “…with a wild surmise

  1. At the risk of sounding like I’m trivializing what you’re describing here, it brings to mind this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tcxagmu8v4Y

    I get that the spiders are real. This blog describes someone locked in a monumental psychic struggle with them that extends far beyond the bounds of the academic workplace.

    You exist. The work you do, particularly when it’s on your own terms, matters.

    I wish I could wave my wand and teach you a magic spell that will make the spiders go fuck themselves.

  2. Work, particularly on my own terms, matters.

    I will get a magic spell and I will keep your words in mind.

    Monumental struggle with spiders beyond academic workplace, I know. Those are the ones I would really like to get rid of.

  3. Spiders: hurt from being accused of manipulation, lying, and meanness just because I am my own person, not someone else’s appendage. fear that I will be killed for this. anger at how much time has gone to these things. regret at the space it his taken. Secondary: FEAR OF TEACHING. Feel the fear and do it anyway. I simply do NOT take care of myself psychologically as I used to do and it is because I fear that if I do, I will be executed; THAT is a “spider” and I should perhaps start operating on the idea that it is completely false.

  4. The intimidation, the intimidation, the intimidation.

    One version of things is that I was only in academia to find out if I was a person, and that I considered that book contract confirmation, and was ready to move on.

    BUT on the other hand, I never lost interest in my research projects or research and writing.

    Terrified to work because work is a space in which you are killed for being intelligent or putting effort into things. Hmmm. The indimidation, the intimidation, the intimidation.

    It is a spider.

  5. “I had been advised to consider them merely incompetent but what they do, they do not do in error.”

    – Exactly. This is a crucial realization for m as well. I have this constant need to believe that people just have no idea what they are doing and how destructive they are being (I mean both in the professional and the personal contexts.) But that’s a mistake on my part. They know exactly what they are doing.

    Keeping your interest in research in this kind of environment requires inhuman strength. Back in grad school, I felt paralyzed, my brain was paralyzed. It’s exactly as you say, “Terrified to work because work is a space in which you are killed for being intelligent or putting effort into things.”

    1. Yes. On the incompetence, I have realized it is not that at other places, but got convinced of it, here . . . for a while. Not again.

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