The post of the day is from Clarissa and gives step by step instructions on how to deal with my ex — who actually said, when I left, that I had no right to do so since I did not have his permission. I said this to him:
1. I am not responsible for your illness, I have no medical training, and I cannot be your home health care person as I have a job.
2. If I want to get out of a relationship, I have the right to do that irrespective of how sick or healthy you are.
3. No medical condition is an excuse for fits of rage, manipulative behavior, or guilt-tripping.
4. I deserve to live in an environment of joy and happiness. If my environment is not one of joy and happiness, I have the right to leave.
He wrote letters to several of my friends saying I had lost my mind and did not understand that without him, I would not be able to live. He asked them to intercede with me and convince me to return.
What also interests me about Clarissa’s post is that people said I had no right to leave academia if I was not enjoying it. I had finished the degree and had a job, and I had the potential to do important work, so I owed it to “the profession” to stay.
These exhortations induced, or perhaps I should say activated so much guilt that I did stay despite having other, very strong professional interests and ambitions. I am no longer the person who would quail to such things.
People stopped recognizing me when I became the coldhearted scientist so this week I may just be وداد.
That was my name in Arabic class and it means affinity among other things.
This is my day off and I have already slept late, e-mailed the secretary, e-mailed several colleagues in response to various issues, and e-mailed three classes. I must go to the office and revise my annual report which is missing one of my courses. I must listen to telephone messages and try to call roofers. I must attend a social event.
I am reading a strange, partly Falangist novel that Vargas Llosa likes and whose style in fact reminds me of Vargas Llosa. On page 49 it says: “…es verdad que las guerras se hacen por dinero, que es poder, pero los jóvenes parten al frente y matan y se matan y se hacen matar por palabras, que son poesía, y por eso son los poetas los que siempre ganan las guerras…”. What do you think of this?
I owe social letters and calls. I have a lot of work to do this weekend, and I really do not look forward to dealing with this roofing issue. I must do state income tax. I will use my refund rejoin more of my usual professional organizations, and the house also needs a plumber.
Everything now is so comparatively pleasant; it is so unusual to me still to have returned, to be able to work without flashbacks.
I knew it could take this long to get rid of them but people would not believe me; they slung more and more academic advice at me while also refusing to discuss my actual academic project.
Each stone hit harder than the one before it and that is one more reason why I so dislike academic advice.