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It's Been a While...

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Hello to any of my present and future fans. I have been away from my computer for a couple of weeks due to some extreme stress I have been dealing with for the last couple of weeks. Long story short, I was committed to a mental hospital for a couple of weeks to help improve my mood, and reprogram me to become a "productive member of society", and all that other bullshit.


In any case, I am back, and I should have some new, interesting articles coming out for anyone who is following me fairly soon. I am not sure, but I was almost done with an article that I started before I was taken away, so with a little bit of luck, I should have that up and running on the website momentarily.


I cannot stress this enough. Even though I am a survivor of a toxic, academic workplace environment, my mental health was ultimately sacrificed in the process. To anyone who is seriously faced with the prospect of having to start a federal investigation against their supervisor and/or their institution, you should not make this decision lightly. Even though it is against the law for companies to retaliate against whistleblowers, the sad truth is that this is still likely to happen, especially in places where professionalism is not a priority. If you are ready to be pushed further than you have ever been pushed before, then the advice I offer on this website will definitely get you there. However, if there is even the slightest chance that you might be able to work things out with your institution or your PI, it is in your best interest to pursue those options until you've exhausted all of them.


I am not saying you shouldn't protect yourself. Keep records of any and all encounters you have with your supervisor, as well as the student and academic leadership at your institution. However, with a little bit of luck, you should be able to reach a more civil, diplomatic solution with your supervisor, provided they are reasonable and human.


I would also caution not to doubt yourself either. If you are absolutely convinced that your supervisor is beyond salvation, and there is no hope to reaching an appropriate resolution through logic and reasoning, and you are truly no longer afraid of the consequences of reporting them to higher authorities, take the advice I offer on this blog to heart. I wish you all the best in your endeavors. You might win, or you might become a sacrifice, but either way, no one can fault you for your actions.


As an additional word of caution, I would say that if you feel that you've run out of options, but you're afraid of retaliation, then walk away. Find a way to make peace with your institution, and just get the hell out of there. At the end of the day, sacrificing your mental health to serve a purpose you deem "greater than yourself" is not worth it. Once you walk this dark path, you've crossed the Rubicon, and for better or for worse, there is no turning back.


Moreover, I would say, if you are committed to doing this, don't hesitate or hold back for a second. Go for the jugular. If you give your institution an inch, they will take a mile. Even if you think you've passed the statutes of limitation for reporting certain incidents, you have to try your absolute hardest to find some rationale that ties the "expired" cases back to the present. Whenever possible, show that past instances have not been resolved, and that this is an ongoing, hostile environment. The more evidence you have against your oppressors, the stronger your case will be.


I am almost to the end, but before that, there is one other thing I would like you to consider. Your actions impact everyone around you, especially your family. If you are married and have children like me, consider the consequences of whistleblowing if not for yourself, then for them. Again, if you feel like your current situation is unbearable and cannot be fixed at the institutional level, as painful as it is, consider walking away from it. Your sanity, happiness, and family's security is not worth the risk of retaliation, even if you think you're serving some just cause. SERIOUSLY consider what you are about to do, and if the risk of failure is acceptable to both you and your loved ones.


Lastly, do your utmost to keep your oppressor in the dark. The longer you can keep them wondering about your intentions, and who/what you've reported to outside agencies and when, the less of an opportunity your oppressors will have to do damage control and back pedal. This will also help to minimize your chances of retaliation. In closing, use your evidence as a method of self-defense, not as a means of antagonism. Only seriously consider outside reporting when you feel there are no other alternatives, and you're not afraid of any of the consequences.


With that said, we will now return to our originally scheduled programming.

This image comes from the awesome anime, "Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji: Ultimate Survivor". If you haven't seen it yet, and enjoy anime, this one is a modern classic, and I highly recommend checking it out.
Mental health is serious. This facial expression perfectly captures where I was a couple of weeks ago, when my psychologist presented me with an ultimatum to commit myself, or he will have to call the police on me.


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