Still triggered by PhD experience

posted
03-Jun-20, 07:57
by moilee
Avatar for moilee
posted about 1 month ago
Hi all,

Hope everyone is keeping safe and sane. Long time lurker, first time writer here.

I have a question for everyone that has been affected by their postgraduate experience. Are you still triggered by certain people, topics or scenarios that haunted you while you were studying?

Now, I did not have the worst time but it wasn't good or easy either. I passed my thesis but never received support to publish (even though all my thesis reviewers said that I could or should). A few post-docs in my lab were vocally unsupportive of me even attempted to delay my thesis submission. Granted, there were some personality differences between us and but their lack of professionalism was painful to experience (of course I am conscious that there are two sides to every story also).

My PhD projects were different to everyone else in the lab and my supervisor did not see the monetary benefit (that is no big grants could come out of it) and thus did not invest much time in my work. My science was sound and I did everything diligently. I'm not someone who published just for the sake of it. I believe in time-tested science and saw that many colleagues did not have this same ethos. Anyway, I digress.

Almost one year on from graduating, each time I see a former colleague publish, I feel almost paralysed. I know academia isn't for me and I am chasing my alternative academia dream but that hurt of being ignored and not supported is still raw.

Has anyone dealt with this before and if so, how did you over it? I am not willing to go back to my former lab until I am strong enough to deal with things. Hopefully I might not ever have to go back except for giving a talk or seminar of the joys of life outside of academia! :P

Love your work!

Best.
M
posted
03-Jun-20, 11:45
edited about 16 seconds later
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 1 month ago
Hi M.

I can empathise with the feelings being triggered. You could try listing and then avoiding the situations that trigger the feelings. Or if that isn't possible then it might just be a matter of time - maybe as you do and achieve more in what you are currently doing you'll start to feel less touchy about the past. I do get you though - I felt like this a lot in the final year of my PhD when I saw others being invested in more than I was and yet I felt I had similar capabilities (I won't digress!). It helped me a lot when another opportunity came along that made me feel more valued.

Tudor
posted
03-Jun-20, 17:31
Avatar for PhoenixFortune
posted about 1 month ago
I can relate, not at PhD level, but some things to do with my undergraduate degree can give me a very visceral response. Like you, I received very little support during my undergrad (even when I actively sought it), and felt like I wasn't wanted. My particular course had a small cohort, so it was easy for people to stand out for the right or wrong reasons. Only a few weeks ago I was reading an academic paper about a certain topic highly relevant to my undergrad, and I found that I suddenly felt very tearful and panicky. I graduated in 2014, so I was surprised to still feel like that.

What helped me was making sure that every career decision I made from then on came from a place of seeking happiness overall, and not doing anything as a means to an end. It also gave me a good measure of who are good people for me and who aren't, and to trust my gut instinct more.
posted
07-Jun-20, 07:59
edited about 24 seconds later
by moilee
Avatar for moilee
posted about 1 month ago
Quote From Tudor_Queen:


I can empathise with the feelings being triggered. You could try listing and then avoiding the situations that trigger the feelings. Or if that isn't possible then it might just be a matter of time - maybe as you do and achieve more in what you are currently doing you'll start to feel less touchy about the past.


Hi Tudor_Queen, Thank you for your message. I really appreciate it. Yes, I am trying to employ these strategies. I am glad I am not alone in having these feelings.


Quote From PhoenixFortune:


What helped me was making sure that every career decision I made from then on came from a place of seeking happiness overall, and not doing anything as a means to an end. It also gave me a good measure of who are good people for me and who aren't, and to trust my gut instinct more.


Really wise words. Thank you PhoenixFortune. I figured out a bit too late that I needed to focus on my headspace and wellbeing!

I apologise for the terrible typos in my initial message! >.<

Thanks again everyone.

Moilee

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