Blurred Boundaries with supervisor

20-May-19, 12:51
by ilse
Avatar for ilse
posted about 8 months ago
Hi, my supervisor should be reported but I won't do it. My thesis was supposed to be finished in a semester but due to my health problems it extended over a year. I had began working with my supervisor (C.) where I took a one-on-one course the semester before I began working on my thesis so I have known and been close to this person for 1.5 years now. Our relationship began even earlier before that, where I would see him looking at me with some sympathy/affection and I would wonder who he is. When I spoke with the academic (female) I wanted to work with, she redirected me to C. I have asked other women academics if they could supervise me and they all directed me to C. Their confidence if him encouraged me to feel safe with him.
My relationship with C. has been tumultuous. I had been informed by staff (informally) and students alike that he was suffering from mental troubles which to me made him more approachable as I had and later was suffering from the same. So I took it as a friendly gesture when he acknowledged he is aware of the self-made cuts on my arms from years ago. I thought that he understood the pain one would go through to take it out on themselves.
Then we began working on my thesis. Let's clarify that as much as I hate criticism as any other person I am aware that it is what we have all signed up for. The criticism I have received, however, where he was telling me that I was no one, and that I was just entitled, wanted attention, was harsh. What went with it, the comments on how I was so much beautiful and fitter and younger than him, was worst. I have been stuck in this hell of trying to finish my thesis, wanting him to like me, hating him, and doubting myself, is unbearable. Has anyone else endured this push and pull from their supervisors? Thank you.
26-May-19, 14:20
edited about 28 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 8 months ago
Hi Ilse, I did read this a few days ago but didn't post a reply because I wasn't quite clear on what the issue is (it seems there may be multiple issues?). Also, I wasn't sure if it was a reflection / rant, or if you were looking for advice in your situation. It sounds like your supervisor is verbally abusing you and what he is saying is inappropriate. This will of course have an effect on your self esteem, confidence, mental health likely too - not to mention your work. In any other context (other than academia) I'd say go straight to HR. Are you able to work with someone else instead?
27-May-19, 13:45
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Dr_Crabby
posted about 8 months ago
My supervisor has been a nightmare too, for different reasons and should be reported but I am so close to the end I can't bring myself to rock the boat further. It's a horrible and lonely situation to be in.
25-Sep-19, 08:58
Avatar for sarahlovespandas
posted about 4 months ago
ilse and Dr_Crabby - did you manage to solve your problems? How did everything work out?


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