La douleur, ou bien, a gender trap

I wake up feeling I have thrown my life away. I did it when I moved here. I regret it, and I am only waiting to die now. There are forty years left, if I can work long enough to have savings for my old age. If there is not enough to eat, I will take morphine and go.

Where does the pain come from, I keep asking, and I don’t like coming into contact with its source:

We don’t like you, we don’t love you, we don’t believe in you, your only chance of survival is to become a person we would like better and thus, perhaps, earn a measure of protection–which you will need, as you are incompetent and as we say, unlikable as well.

The rejection and the feeling of being thrown overboard.

I did not do the things I would have liked — environmental studies, economics, plastic arts, law, Arabic — because they were not the things corresponding to the person I should be and would not redeem me. What I sought was redemption.

It was all about not being the right kind of girl. My struggles around this led to obedience and imitation in school, not trusting in my own originality which is extreme (and I really should remember that).

Administration is the housework of academia and I am saddled with a great deal of it, and disliked because of this. It is in my power to say no to it, although when I have done this in the past, the results of not doing it have been yet more harmful to me personally than the results of doing it.

I wonder, though, whether saying no a second time is worth a try.


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