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How to move past getting kicked out

I'm sorry to hear you've had a related experience. I don't think I've moved on from mine. I'm still mired in it, trying to make the best of it.

> As regards the dismissal, can I ask why you were asked to leave?

You know, whenever I talk to Americans they always assume I did something wrong. "Oh, you must have done something. They wouldn't just kick you out for no reason." People from outside America get that bad shit sometimes happens to good people. Sometimes mean people do mean things.

The reasons I was kicked out make no sense: I had an A- average in coursework, and yet the professor claimed I didn't have the grades to stay in. I had passed my comps (15 months prior to being kicked out!) and the professor said ex post that it was only a "marginal pass". I was doing research and presenting at conferences and yet this professor said I lacked the drive to complete original work. He fabricated some interaction in his office--I really had very few interactions with him to begin with--where he claimed I said all sorts of things. Suffice it to say, he wanted me out and had the power to do so.

This kind of thing happens. I didn't ask or judge the reasons things went sour with your professor. Things just sometimes go bad through no fault of our own, and judgments of these kind don't help.

> Would apologising to them allow you to reform these friendships and at least allow you some degree of > support?

Consciously I have no desire to rebuild those friendships. Why would I want fair-weather friends? The issue is the guilt and shame around the fact those relationships have atrophied or crumbled. I don't know how to manage that.

How did you move on? No offense, but you left with the degree, and I have nothing to show for my years of work.

How to move past getting kicked out

Four years ago I messed up a life-changing opportunity. I was mid-way through a top PhD program when the department head--the person who had originally recruited me--kicked me out over email without so much as a word of notice. The justifications he gave were weak, even contradictory, but he had enough power within the department that he could do whatever he wanted.

In the ensuing time I have slowly been rebuilding my life. It's been incredibly hard. At times the depression was so thick it felt like I was moving through water. I lost nearly all of my friends--either through my anger at having not been defended by them, or from the shame at what happened. I've watched them all get plum job that I would have done anything for. Meanwhile I'm barely treading water, both financially and emotionally.

I'm starting to gain some traction in life, but still I wake up every day and think how much I screwed up. I know I could have tried harder. Much of my day is spent in this emotional miasma trying to move forward but thinking constantly about the past.

How do I move past this? I've tried everything I can think of: I've been in near constant therapy, I'm on medication for depression. I've read books on forgiveness, practiced meditation and mindfulness. These things help in the short term, but I never seem to make escape velocity from feeling like garbage about myself. Every thing I read about staying positive bounces off my mind and the things that stick are confirmations of my worthlessness.

I know this isn't the worst thing to have happened to someone. I know there are people who through their actions or not have suffered real loss. I'm no stranger to loss myself, having grown up in a less than ideal environment. And yet, this is a big, ugly, tangible, personal loss. There's no way to spin this positively as much as I try.