The next few weeks seemed like an eternity. The day after my argument with Pete, I struggled to concentrate at work – one of the Dental surgeons, Dr. Satvi, had come down to the lab to discuss a possible training event.
“We are interested in holding another training event for the Oral Surgery department, next month. Can you pull that together?”
“Well, don’t you normally contact Dr. Former?”
“Yes, but she told me to come down here and ask you to handle it.”
“Oh, okay. Definitely. What are the dates you were looking at? Here’s a request form.”
“Oh, right – well, we’re going to need help developing the curriculum for it as well. You can do that, right?”
“Well, I will consult with Dr. Former on that and get back to you.”
He filled out the event request form, and left. I never heard from him again, despite numerous requests for a follow-up meet.
After a few weeks of no contact, I reported the progress to my boss, Dr. Former UN AIDS Researcher. She seemed just as ambiguous about giving out any direction on how to proceed.
It was then I knew something was not right. Not right at all.
I couldn’t figure it out. Was it the grant project I had been working on? I was trying my best to figure out a Master’s thesis and potential research for PhD work, and had disclosed to her what I was working on. My advisor, Dr. Dingleberry, and I had been meeting every other week or so, to go over details, and the deadline for applying for grant money was closing in. Except, we didn’t really go over details much. He was busy being Mr. Cryptic Second Life “Who Am I” game player, and I was busy trying to figure out what the fuck he was trying to say.
I’d had enough ambiguity.
The afternoon before class, I was sent an email reassigning my project to a new grant coordinator. I was a bit worried because she seemed somewhat inept. Not understanding the process as well as she probably should have. We met in an empty office in a new building on the other side of campus. The whole scenario seemed, well, contrived.
That night in class, Dingleberry seemed anxious. Maybe more, angry. I didn’t think much of it until I over heard him exclaim, rather loudly “That’s impossible!”
I looked up and he was looking right at me, before he proceeded to give a lecture about identity, and how people are faking their identities online, and we need to be careful about using real names, and name dropping, etc. “Afterall, the Dr. Former’s of the world might not take too kindly to being called out.”
I took his words, his anger as a literal reference to my conversation, nay, my heated argument with Pete the night before. In our kitchen. Just he and I...
That was the moment that I connected my Advisor, my favorite Professor, to the incident that happened to me in Portland. The sex. The condom. Feeling drugged. Feeling tricked.
It was at that point that I assumed he knew my husband, he knew him in Second Life.
How else would he have gotten get the information?
It was the moment I stopped listening to him, and started hating him.
That was 2009. It's taken four years to understand what really happened, to learn who he really was, and to even think about trusting him again.
Four long, heartbreaking years.