My Name is Kaley

My name only sounds like Kaley

My Worst Moment When the female head of department (his ex-grad student) told me that she knew he had done this before and believed what I had been telling her, but because of his senior position and their relationship, she couldn’t, wouldn’t support me. Instead she suggested I finish the lab work needed for my degree at night and stay home as much as I could. Turns out, he was happy to work nights too, when no one else was around.

 

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Kaley reported her supervisor for harassment. Women in power was told to be quiet and avoid him. She no longer trusts men in power or the women who are around them. She declined to provide a photo.

She told me not to fight back in any way, and not to respond to any questions or gossip because it would only make things worse. To take the high road. But staying silent only meant that his side of the story became the only side. She told me that pursuing legal action would only bring me more trauma. But she meant that it would only make problems for her.

I Have Given Up On: Ever really loving science again. I wanted to quit then, but everyone told me that if I did that, I would be letting him win. They said that when I moved institutions it would be better. But it wasn’t, and it isn’t. It’s been 13 years and four institutions. I haven’t gotten over it, I’m still looking for that love of science, and I’m still afraid to quit.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 11.34.57 AMI’m Afraid: That I didn’t do enough. That I will always feel weak. That I will always distrust not only men in power, but the women they surround themselves with.

This Has Cost Me: 13 years of crippling migraines, which appeared for the first time during that period, and brought so many doctors appointments, therapies and drugs trying to lose them again. I’ve lost friends who didn’t believe me, or who thought I should just let it go. I had to change my research focus to escape his circle of influence. I left papers unpublished and grants half-written.

Something You Should Know About Me: I used to believe in taking the high road and trying to hold on to grace. I now believe in fighting fire with fire. It’s time for change.

Is There a Bright Side: Some people did believe me. Some people gave me opportunities despite the black cloud that hung over me. Some people trusted me, and they weren’t always the people that I would have expected. I’ve felt grateful to those people in ways I will never forget.

Fight Song: Three Little Birds

Secret Weapon: Speaking truth to power.