I received an e-mail this morning informing me that the project I had worked on for four years, was submitted to a high end journal, at the same time, letting me know that my authorship dropped from first to fourth within 6 months of leaving the lab.
There is a storm of mixed emotions running through me and I'm not even quite sure where to start. Jipped. Pissed. Enraged. Sadness. Relief.
Jipped and pissed for the obvious reasons of dedicating four years of my life to get this project off the ground and running, and when it was close to fruition, someone came in and took it away. Sadness for not being there to see it go through, and sadness for seeing the data's reinterpretation. And relief for no longer having to bear the burden that if this crashed and burned that I would have to carry the moral responsibility.... and I wonder if that is selfish and unkind of me to think this way. Am I simply jealous? Am I reacting because of anger?... I don't know, and frankly I don't want to analyze it too much.
I have already physically moved on. It's like a bad relationship that one walks away from, yet can not help but feel a twinge of emotion (sadness?) when presented with evidence of past involvement.
This blow to the gut remain a lesson-always cover one's own back and always fight for one's right. A hard one to take, but one I will keep close to my heart forever.