My Name is Sydney

Sydney was harassed and gaslit to the point she left her tenured position to escape. Sydney declined to provide a photo of herself.

Worst Moment: My department head told everyone that I was ‘not smart’ and that mutated into ‘She is stupid’ which was bought by everyone, including grad students, who would smugly laugh at me in the hallways, even walk by my office and say loudly ‘ya she is dumb’ or laugh at me when I walked into instrument rooms. People said I got tenure only because I was a woman and that I was dumb. The gaslighting was so bad and so hurtful that I had to resign my tenured position to find peace. That was almost 20 years ago and I never considered the financial impact until later, when I found myself downsized in the recession. Now I am nearly broke when those assholes have great retirement plans. I am so angry.  I have tried to write a book about this, disguising everyone, but its so hard.  

Before I resigned, I gave a seminar on my work in a neighboring dept, but the slander had spread there, and people laughed at my work. It was so cruel that I passed out at the end of my seminar, and everyone left the room. I actually passed out and people were laughing.  It was so so cruel. 

After I left, then neighboring departments lied about my complaint, said I was never sexually harassed even tho they were told by the VP of the Med School and prof schools to shut up about me. Gender played huge huge role which is why I accused them of gender discrimination. Everyone it seems that stayed there hates me and thinks I am a liar and that I’m stupid. It has ruined my life to be honest. It was the worst most horrible experience of my life. BUT I loved my work, I loved having students, publishing my work, and doing the science. 

I could never afford a good lawyer so I couldn’t really launch a lawsuit, which would have been very ugly and made my life even worse. 

My former friends in science shun me. Think I’m fucked up. That is one of the worst  things about this. No one prepared me for the hostility and gaslighting and slander.

I Have Given Up On: Everything and everyone. The severe depression has ruined my life. I try to take it one day at a time.

I’m Afraid: Afraid of speaking out more, afraid of writing my book I signed an NDA but so did they, and they DID NOT FOLLOW the NDA continuing to bad mouth me for years after I left. My reputation ruined. They bad mouthed me but I had no proof. If I write my book and I am revealed, I will get sued because I signed an NDA. But faculty think an NDA means ‘talk shit about her to everyone’. It’s sick.

This Has Cost Me: Over $2,000,000 in wage and benefits over 20 years and much more in retirement money that I lost out on. 

My mental health has been adversely affected and in the rural area that live in because of economic constraints imposed by me having to resign a lifetime position, I cannot get the help I need.  

Lost opportunity with collaborators, students, publications. My scientific career destroyed.

Something You Should Know: I’m funny, smart, loved my science and was really fucked over.  I wish I could move on.  With the financial constraints it is indeed hard.

Is There a Bright Side: One day at a time.

Secret Weapon: Now I live in a forest and its cleansing and healing. But I’m still angry.  I have 20 publications that I’m proud of. But people in the field do not cite me because I’m shunned.