MY WORST MOMENT
I had moved from clinical trials to basic science so I could get more intellectual freedom. I chose to study these little worms (C. elegans) because you can look at biology happen in real-time. My supervisor sent me to a small meeting to get to know some ‘movers and shakers’.
On my second night there, they went from drunk to drunk and skinny dipping. I went back to my room to hide. I woke up when someone was knocking on my door. It was one of the drunk skinny dipping faculty wearing only a towel. After he assaulted me, he abruptly stopped and staggered away saying he ‘had the wrong room I guess’.
I cried on my bed for hours. The next day at breakfast one of the young women who was ‘cool’, LGBT+ and skinny dipping asked where I was. She said they had ‘a blast’.
I HAVE GIVEN UP ON
Thinking that women protect women.
I can’t go to the gym because seeing people in towels scares me. I don’t trust women or men. I only allow myself to check on that community of ‘friends’ on Google once every four months (it’s on my calendar) to see if anyone caught them. If anyone filed a lawsuit. No one has. They are all tenured, in charge of things.
THIS HAS COST ME
I left science immediately and moved back home. I said my family had an emergency. Which is mostly true. I was the emergency. Eight years of flashbacks. Eight years of salary. I tried anti-anxiety medication but it didn’t work. My neighbor gave me his ‘meds’ to help. They were opioids. I felt such relief and the images in my head were gone finally. For four months, I used them non-stop. It was like I was just normal. I couldn’t think, but I was no feeling like my brain was in a tornado anymore. Like my heart didn’t work right. I quit but there are moments in every day that I would rather make the pain go away than breathe.
SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW
I was captain of my soccer teams in high school and college. I made the junior Olympics and had so much fire in me to do something important. now coach in a youth league. I want to wrap all little girls up in a bubble to keep them safe.
IS THERE A BRIGHT SIDE?
I can’t remember how much time I spent in bed after I ran away from science. I was sick. I felt sick. I felt like I was in some weird semi-real life and I shouldn’t have to get out of bed. My hometown friend slowly dragged me out, made me get sunshine, made me drink water and go for walks. I thought she was silly and wasting her life in our little town being a business manager for a small office. She saved my life. I know I wouldn’t have made it much longer. I am humble and want so much less of a ‘big’ life now. I just want to be calm in my skin. To be safe.
MY SECRET WEAPON
I grabbed up all the sheets and bedding from the assault. I wrote a letter about what happened and had it notarized and dated. I have it all at my friends house.
MY FIGHT SONGS