Complicated post-PhD and job-hunting feels

I had a pretty rough day yesterday. Job hunting is not going well – there are hardly any entry level medical writer jobs available. All of them want  3-6 months med comms experience. Which, how the fuck am I supposed to get that without someone taking me on with no experience? I have a fucking PhD – med comms is supposed to be great for those with a PhD but no companies that I can reasonably get to are hiring. And relocating is not an option because of Squisher’s job, not unless we want to go back to long distance. Which, we don’t. We’ve only been living together for about three months!

The recruiters I’ve spoken to suggested getting an unpaid internship. Like, ahahaha no. I didn’t put myself through the agony of the PhD just so I could work for free. Continue reading

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Arghhhh *ragesmash*

Before I completely blow my top at my supervisor in an email, allow me to rant!

I have, as is customary, two PhD supervisors, however because one moved to Manchester within 6 months of me starting in Liverpool, he became completely uninvolved in the administrative side of my PhD. My primary supervisor in Liverpool has told me she won’t be available the day of my viva “but not to worry, it’s no big deal”.

Actually, it FUCKING IS. I KNOW you don’t give a shit about me or whether I even finish the fucking PhD, aside from how it affects your ratings with the research councils and University. BUT ACTUALLY the day of my viva is a huge fucking deal to me, and it would be *nice* to have some semblance of emotional support that day, rather than me turning up in a city where I have no connections anymore because everyone I once knew has left already. It’s only the most important, nerve-wracking day of my academic career to date! Beacuse wandering around campus the morning of my viva with no-one to keep me company is just going to be fucking great, ya know?!!!

Also, I thought it was customary for your supervisors to greet you after you emerge from the gruelling experience that is the viva. With champaign. And cake. And tissues. So that you can (hopefully) celebrate with the people you’ve been working with for the last four years.

I don’t currently know if my secondary supervisor from Manchester will be in attendance, either.

:’-(

 

I believe the phrase is “fuck you. Fuck you all.”

How Christianity Damaged My Sexuality, Part 2: Cultural Teachings

This is Part 2, and it deals with some of the cultural teachings I absorbed or was actively taught that harmed me. Part 1 is here but it carries a content note for descriptions of sexual assault.

The first teaching regarded the fate of your “heart” if you had sex before marriage. I was specifically told that if/when you had sex, you gave a part of your heart away which you could never get back. You were broken if you had sex (outside of marriage) and you were a sinner if you “fornicated”. That word that confused the hell out of me for years. Listed alongside adultery, theft and murder in the New Testament as things you should never ever do, none of the adults I asked would ever give me a straight answer as to what it even was, like the “no heavy petting” sign at the swimming pool. Eventually I figured it must be all the sexy things that weren’t Capital-S Sex. Continue reading

How Christianity Damaged my Sexuality, Part 1: Sexual Assault

This post is further to a post from a while back about a dream about church. I’d had some songs by Delirious? rattling round my brain for weeks so I decided to listen to the tracks again and see what that did for me. It had the anticipated effect of removing those songs from my brain but it had some un-anticipated effects as well. This is a personal post about how Christianity fucked up my sexuality and is part one of two.

It describes various sexual assults and victim blaming thoughts. Content Note for everything after the cut. Please take care of yourself.

In listening to those songs and recalling how I felt when I listened to them as teen, and in paying actual attention to the lyrics, subtext and implications, feelings were aroused. Anger mainly. Fury and Rage. Pain and Regret. And finally, Heartbreak. Sorrow for my teenage self and disgust for the adults who had care of said teenager. Continue reading

He Touched Me

Content Note: sexual assault

I haven’t forgotten the thing I wasn’t able to talk about here for weeks. It’s been on my mind, and closer to the surface than usual.

Today is the start of talking about it.

The writing here is what arose from a text-based Twine game, Player2, by  Lydia Neon. It deals with interpersonal conflict and doesn’t have to be for the big stuff, but it can be if you want it.

CONTENT WARNING for sexual asault here on out. Continue reading

Depression, Anxiety and Meds

So, where to start? Big news first I guess. As of today I’m on an anti-depressant for the first time in my life. I have a feeling I should have looked into it months ago. As you might have guessed from the previous couple of posts, things are not so great in my head at the moment.

(Apologies, this is going to be long, rambly and possibly incoherent. I need to rant today.)

Mind you, they’ve not been great for a while. Kinda seems like I just swing from one crisis to the next, you know? There’s no denying the PhD’s been hell every step of the way, but also I am a terrible procrastinator? Or a lazy fuck? Who can’t be arsed? Who is making excuses for her own failings, when she should just. be. working. already. for. fuck’s. sake.

And yet, if I said those things to a friend who was struggling to work, I would be a horrible person, so why the hell am I accusing myself of those things? I think this might be a serious case of the Sneaky JerkBrain? Because only a Sneaky JerkBrain would think that being a jerkoff douchecanoe will help motivate me? Because what I really need right now is a bag of guilt pulling at my heels at every step? Continue reading

Jesus fucking H Christ, my supervisor is an idiot!

Just have to put this out here. Where I’d been accusing my supervisor of not getting back to me with comments, he had prepared comments and MANAGED NOT TO SEND THEM.

I THINK THAT IS WORSE THAN SEEMINGLY IGNORING ME.

This would not be the first time he’s convinced himself he sent an email when in fact he hadn’t. A prime example of that would be when I emailed to say I was going off sick with stress for two weeks and he didn’t respond at all.

So, on top of him not sending his comments on my draft for over 6 weeks, when I finally got to read them tonight, one comment really took the biscuit.

Mmm, biscuit.
Sorry. Distracted.

He’d managed to claim that the thing that was my idea was actually his and that he’d told me to do it all along, when in truth, he’d opposed me from the beginning.

It needs a lot of backstory, apologies.

A long time ago, back in my first year of my PhD, Continue reading

Things that are wrong with gradschool – or – how academia breaks people

Well this post here is the best thing I have read about the PhD ever. It completely sums up the issues I have been having with academia but as the author says, if I’d read it going in, I don’t think I would have believed it.

So one of the ways that a PhD breaks people is that it’s a huge task, where the final aim is extremely vague and there are often few meaningful intermediate goals. Brilliant student, you’re probably self-motivated and hard-working. Still, it’s pretty hard to stay motivated when you’re not getting any kind of feedback or sense of achievement, when you have no real deadlines on a timescale you can usefully think about. It’s research, so at some point it will get bogged down and you’ll spend many months or even years pursuing a dead end. Short-term student projects are carefully designed to give at least some kind of results in the few weeks available; actual research isn’t that predictable, which is good because the whole point of research is to investigate an unexplored area, but also pretty gruelling if you’re used to getting good results when you put in hard work. It’s not like working hard to complete an essay or project and being rewarded with good marks. You work hard, really really hard, and you often get no reward at all, you just realize you’ve been wasting your time.

 

This is what I couldn’t get my counsellor to understand the other day. Nevermind that my supervisor is often awful and that I’ve had a lot of personal and family stuff to deal with over these last four years*, this is the thing that has caused me problems over and over again. This, and chronic perfectionism. Continue reading