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Toxic academia - advice?
10 months ago · 1 · Need Advice, +5
The last two years were difficult - our department was toxic and my advisor was abusive. It is getting worse so we (mom and me) decided to prepare an appeal to the ethical commission of the university.
I have a problem - my memory is broken, I need to think longer to remember details about what was happening - is it normal? I have notes, I have messages to my friends, and have a diary so I have recorded most of the events...
And my other question is - if I write to appeal what was happening should I mention what I tried to do to defend myself or only what they have done?
Thanks for the advice!
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Stress can really mess with your ability to remember stuff. Also, if you're in a toxic workplace, you can feel gaslighted into doubting your own memory of things, and what was or wasn't your fault.
I think the stress is why 2020 felt like about 5 years instead of one - the pandemic really disrupted everyone's routine and put our brains into survival mode, making time feel stretched out and weird.
It's excellent that you have diaries and timestamped correspondence that you can rely on to back you up.
I think you should focus on their actions and the impact that it had on you.
I'm not sure what you mean by "what I tried to do to defend myself"... Be wary of calling attention to any action on your part that could appear unprofessional or that Toxic Supervisor could re-frame to paint you in a negative light...
... Unless it points to a clear picture of unfairness - such as: Toxic Supervisor set you a task, you defended yourself by making sure you clarified all the requirements and success criteria, in writing, and then when you completed the task perfectly, TS moved the goalposts and penalised you for not meeting criteria that weren't part of the original task.
Who is guiding you through this process, aside from your mom? Do you have a mentor or someone who is familiar with the appeals process whose job it is to help you?Reply