Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Big Black Nemesis

So maybe you saw my tweet about it, but the other day I read a really gut wrenching post that reminded me of a lot of feelings I haven't confronted recently. The author also put hir finger on a particular confluence of negative emotions that I can really relate to but never thought about so explicitly.

Go read it.

I'll wait.



I don't want to take anything away from the author's writing by restating the point too much, but it's nasty business when the imposter syndrome we all seem to have coalesces into a perfect storm of dread with a bona fide, honest-to-goodness secret you *really* don't want getting out. A secret that you are sure will destroy all that you've worked for. Suddenly, the inchoate sense that you are on the brink of being found out takes a new and concrete form. The Voltron lions of Insecurity, Self Doubt, Fear of Failure, and Paranoia click together with their sinister partner Debilitating Chronic Disease Lion to create a giant Terrorbot.

It's a dark place, and almost nobody I disclosed my P to gets what it's like. I'm not sure if they're just trying to be reassuring, but almost invariably the first question after "I was terrified to tell anyone about P" is an incredulous "Why?"

Why was I so sure letting my secret leak out would torpedo my career? Why did I worry everyone would flee my lab? Why was I afraid no one would give me a long-term grant?

Most people seem to think these worries were silly. I don't know if I have an answer that they would understand, but the author of this post understands. Thank you "S". This time it is you who have inspired me.

Many miles away
There's a shadow on the door
Of a cottage on the shore
Of a dark Scottish lake

Many miles away

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. This post fucking nails it, reaching into the personal narrative and pulling out the main thing, the seed crystal, that nucleated its creation. The intersection of the subtle doubts created by IS and the concrete ones that come from medical issues...and the potential consequences of disclosure that somehow get driven into all of us. Now that I see it, it feels obvious. In fact it feels so obvious, I can't imagine why it took so long to unravel. Sometimes brains are assholes.

    I'm feeling emotionally better these days than I have in a long time. You're right about it being a dark place. I appreciate hearing that I'm not alone in these things, even as others tell me the same thing.

    -s

    postscript: Robots FTW! And my apology to non-metaphorical sharks, which are actually awesome.

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