I have contemplated for a while to write the following lines. This is costing me a lot of effort. But I have received messages from other women (at my university) going through this or something similar. I am taking this seriously and want to help raise awareness and support others who are dealing with this too.
Not a single person at work knew about the war I was fighting in my apartment.
Not a single person at work ever knew that I had to sleep many nights on the floor.
That I had to cook food at home, but were not allowed to eat it.
That I was not allowed to meet my friends.
No one knew, because I was acting super professional at work at all times. I got the awards. Wrote the papers. Delivered excellent results.
Also because the pressure is real and I did not want to lose my academic job.
I put a smile on my face and gave 150 %, as you can see on the photo from back then.
Until one day. It was too much. I could not hide it anymore.
That was the day my colleagues immediately said “That`s it. You live with us now”.
Right away they got all the things from my apartment and packed the bags.
Back then my colleagues changed my life. Because they acted in the best possible way.
Maybe you can be like them too.
And please don`t tell yourself “I know he will change”. Because the truth is. He will not.
There will be someone helping you to get out there. Speak with someone.
Everyone can be affected. This has nothing to do with status, academic level or intelligence.
You will not be able to tell who is affected and who is not.
Be an ally and ask “How are you?”
-by Anna Schueth