I was forced to resign from a postdoctoral position in a major research institute in the US because of sexual harassment. It's been 4 months since I resigned, but I'm still struggling to move on from what happened.
It started a couple of months into my postdoc. He started leering and staring at me in public and moving too close to me during one-on-one meetings. At one point, I moved away from him slightly when he started getting too close which made him really angry. I also tried to keep the door open when we have our one-on-one meetings, but the same thing happened. He got so angry that he started criticizing my work in a loud voice. He also made everyone believe there was something going on between us. I just stopped talking to him during social gatherings and generally stayed away from him, which I think made him angrier. He also started bullying me and putting down my suggesting during lab meetings. It effected my self-esteem so much that I stopped speaking up in meetings altogether. He brought up my lack of participation in meetings during a progress review. I made excellent progress at the beginning of my postdoc and had my first manuscript ready in a matter of months. But after the harassment started, I got so depressed that I couldn't focus on my work and my progress suffered.
After putting up with his abuse for over a year, I reached my breaking point when he invited me to go to a conference with him. On the surface it seemed harmless, but it was a small conference on the other side of the country with hardly anyone I know attending it. I made a polite excuse about a prior commitment, but he didn't buy it. He got angry and started to bully and harass me even more. I was so depressed at this point that I tried to commit suicide. I almost succeeded had it not been for the fantastic work of the doctors and nurses at NYP. After 3 days in the ICU and a week in the hospital, I recovered from my suicide attempt (at least physically). I went back to work a week later. I didn't tell anyone what happened, but my postdoc supervisor made it clear that he knew. He mentioned in passing that he has access to anyone's medical record, and in another instance, made a snide comment about me trying to kill myself for my work.
I handed in my resignation a couple of months after this. I wasn't in a place to apply for jobs let alone go for interviews while I was there. So I quit without having a job lined up. I also started seeing a therapist around this time and I think my mental health has somewhat improved since then. However, I'm still so traumatized by this whole experience that I can't seem to bring myself to apply for jobs. Every time I see a job I could apply to, I get paralyzed with fear that the same thing will happen. How do I move on from this and go back to work? Any advise or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.