My Name is Ezra

My name is not Ezra.
I chose this pseudonym because it means “strength” in Hebrew. Dear reader, if you are struggling, please know that there is strength inside of you even if you don’t know it. Keep fighting.
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‘Ezra’ declined to submit a photo. “I’m afraid that someday I’ll stop being strong enough to keep fighting.”

My graduate student mentor harassed me for 3 years while I was an undergraduate. I reported it to Title IX. I “won” - meaning he had to do some counseling to understand why what he did was wrong. He still got his Ph.D. He will go to his dream job. His employers will never know what he did to me.
My Worst Moment: 2 a.m. during graduate school orientation week. My first week of grad school had me sobbing in my car, hiding from my roommates and the world, wishing that I could get away from the pain.

I Have Given Up: Being my old self.

I’m Afraid: That someday I’ll stop being strong enough to keep fighting.

Screen Shot 2021-06-07 at 9.32.00 PMThis Has Cost Me : I struggle with anxiety and depression. I miss hours of lab research every day to hide in the bathroom and cry. I missed hours of work in my first few months in grad school to work through filing a complaint. I pay hundreds of dollars for therapy, and I still can’t sleep through the night. I have paid hundreds of dollars for anxiety medication. My productivity has decreased. I was a straight-A student in undergrad and high school, but my grades in my first year of grad school have been subpar at best because studying in the same field as my harasser has me crying every time I see a textbook page related to something that he taught me in the lab. I’ll avoid conferences in the future. I’ll avoid networking forever.

Something You Should Know About Me: I won’t give up. I’m too stubborn for that.

Is There a Bright Side: Two things: First, He didn’t do that to any other undergraduate after me because I reported it. This is the biggest bright side to anything in the whole world. Second, sometimes I crawl through my days. My knees are bleeding and I’m moving millimeter by millimeter on cracked concrete and hot asphalt as I navigate my way through each hour. There are people who give me piggy back rides when I feel like I can’t endure the pain of going one more nanometer. If you are going through something like this, look for those people.

My Fight Song: Nonstop (Hamilton). Well, basically all of Hamilton.

Secret Weapon: God. Couldn’t have made it through the past two years without my faith. Dear Reader, I am praying for you.