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Thread: Shattered confidence

  1. #1
    eNotUser
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    Shattered confidence

    In 2012 I attended graduate school and a series of events during my time there which included relationships completely shattered my confidence. It was so bad that I had to drop out of the PhD program because continuing there was simply to embarrassing to continue there given my status as one of the "losers" so-to-speak. My academics were great and there was no problem getting scholarships and a stipend, but it was too humiliating to stay there. So I grabbed my master degree and in the workplace I can barely function. I'm out of place, I don't fit in, my performance is abysmal by my standards (I won the best research award for the department in Mol. Bio. and I felt as though my research wasn't that great so my standards are a bit high).

    I don't know how to snap out of it because my life is really crumbling underneath my feet. The level of misery in my life has never been this great.
    Last edited by eNotUser; 01-29-2017 at 04:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Wiseman2
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    The best thing you can do is see a doctor to assess if there is something going on like depression, social anxiety, paranoia, Asperger's etc. Then you can get help and start to get your life back on track.
    Quote Originally Posted by eNotUser [Register to see the link]
    I had to drop out of the PhD program because continuing there was simply to embarrassing to continue there given my status as one of the "subhumans". and in the workplace I can barely function. I'm out of place, I don't fit in, my performance is abysmal by my standards

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  4. #3
    eNotUser
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    Been there done that back in 2010/11 when things were down and it just made everything worse. The social devastation was brutal when it was revealed that I decided to see a doctor. I thought getting back into a new group of people with grad school would help but it didn't. Furthermore, my employment opportunities have required background checks. I'm not risking my ability to get another job with seeing another doctor.

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    j.man
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    How much of your adult life have you been in academia? Have much time have you spent outside of it?

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    eNotUser
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    Quote Originally Posted by j.man [Register to see the link]
    How much of your adult life have you been in academia? Have much time have you spent outside of it?

    Far too long. 5 years in undergrad where I got 2 undergraduate degrees plus 2.5 years of grad school. I have a few years of experience as an employee in laboratory settings outside of academia. Also miscellaneous jobs along the way when they are necessary (temp work, pizza delivery, etc).

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    RainyCoast
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    What could possibly be so shameful about you that it would warrant dehumanizing experince? Did you kill ten people??

    Note that shame is an individual experience of being globally defective and unworthy of connection, while humiliation is a relational experience where one powerful party treats a subordinate like dirt. People believe they deserve their shame, they do not believe they deserve their humiliation.

    Can you make the distinction between the degrading treatment by others (and provide examples) and your response to these experiences, the way you accepted the humiliation and introjected it as shame?

    Did you assert yourself when humiliated, and if not, why not? Did you accept the label of yourself as unworthy so quickly that you ran and hid from everyone as if you were a leper?

    Since you say you are very critical of yourself, where does the shame really come from? Did these people really inflict it through humiliation, or did you hyperbolically translate every microcriticism as disclosure of your unworthiness?

    It would strike me as a shame (no pun intended) if you quit your job for your own hypercriticalness, as you could do that in future jobs as well. I doubt you are so incompetent. You want to quit to escape the shame, not job requirements for which you have had ample training.

    Lastly, if you seek psychotherapy in private practice during strssful times, it doesn't translate as 'loonie' to future employers.

    Your mention of humiliating experience is so vague that it is difficult to advise you, not knowing where the problem was.

    Sorry for any typos. I am phone clumsy.

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  9. #7
    eNotUser
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    Quote Originally Posted by RainyCoast [Register to see the link]
    What could possibly be so shameful about you that it would warrant dehumanizing experince? Did you kill ten people??

    Note that shame is an individual experience of being globally defective and unworthy of connection, while humiliation is a relational experience where one powerful party treats a subordinate like dirt. People believe they deserve their shame, they do not believe they deserve their humiliation.

    Can you make the distinction between the degrading treatment by others (and provide examples) and your response to these experiences, the way you accepted the humiliation and introjected it as shame?
    I haven't done anything that merited such treatment. I'm somewhat confused by the mention of introjecting humiliation as shame.

    Did you assert yourself when humiliated, and if not, why not? Did you accept the label of yourself as unworthy so quickly that you ran and hid from everyone as if you were a leper?
    Yes I really backed out of the world almost entirely

    Since you say you are very critical of yourself, where does the shame really come from? Did these people really inflict it through humiliation, or did you hyperbolically translate every microcriticism as disclosure of your unworthiness?
    I'm well aware that translate criticism into self-defeating talk. However I have learned to counter that, it's been a part of who I am my entire life.

    Lastly, if you seek psychotherapy in private practice during strssful times, it doesn't translate as 'loonie' to future employers.
    I've had to fill out background check forms where I am asked to waive all medical privacy rights. I'm not risking future employment just to feel better if my opportunities all vanish.

    Your mention of humiliating experience is so vague that it is difficult to advise you, not knowing where the problem was.
    Let me just say it was social-sexual abuse and leave it at that. One of my classmates who I was cordial with said it was sexual abuse but the way in which it was openly communicated throughout the small class size also made it a major social issue.

  10. #8
    evad1
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    Your best bet is to get some help or find a friend you can confide in but I'm guessing If you're here on this forum you maybe have no one to confide in about the issue. We can listen to vent but ultimately you have register what's going on around you and figure out a solution. make little goals everyday and if you can't do it yourself you have to get help and go to therapy.

  11. #9
    RainyCoast
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    And was it discussed with the person's supervisor or any staff assigned to handle complaints?

    I can see how that is an environment one would like to avoid.

    Do you believe everyone who witnessed the event ridiculed you? Or may they have perceived the person humiliating you as unfair? One said it was abusive. To me, that doesn't sound like the entire place is so unpleasant that you should conclude the ridicule there is unbearable. Anyone who abuses needs to be reported though, otherwise of course you or anyone else who feels they might be subject to the same will want to transfer.

    I am saying that humiliation is what someone does to you. You may not always be able to avoid humiliation. Shame is what you feel,as in, i am wortheless. To introject humiliation and decide 'that this happened to me means i am worthless and everyone will see me as such" is a choice. The other choice is to conclude "i did nothing to deserve this, and have nothing to feel adhamed for. This person behaved abysmally". The fact that you want to disappear says that you have concluded you are deserving of ridicule. Walk in there and demand the incident be addressed, and at any further attempts at degradation assert yourself. No one says you need to accept belittlement.

    Again, basic self care during stressful times isn't an obstacle to future employment. It is an obstacle to responsibility and improvement.

    I don't think i can help not understanding your quest and your preferred outcome. Perhaps others will.
    Last edited by RainyCoast; 01-29-2017 at 06:01 PM.

  12. #10
    evad1
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    You are too concerned about what was and what will be. There is a saying: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the "present. kung fu panda Not to sound corny but it's so true. One day you're going to die so you gotta get it together so you'll have something memorable to leave behind. I don't know you but I'm in a sucky place too in my life and I decided recently I can't keep living like this. I'm trying new things constantly and opening myself up to the world not so much to people lol. Maybe you can go back to school?

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