self-directed volunteer projects
behind in self-directed volunteer projects
death, spirituality, and who-I-am
Number 11 from The Death Project as designed/ and being designed by Goura Fotadar, from the referenced Text Material and for The Fictional VolunTier Project
11) A worldly fear
yours or somebody else’s
whether experienced or not in life, that you’ll be glad to leave behind:
I used to work at this place when I was an older teen. It was a company, and the combination of it and my school schedule at the time, proved intense for me most days, but not everyday. For example, I had the weekends off still, and I didn’t have class everyday. The job was if not perfect, then nearly perfect for me at that time.
There were a number of things in my life then at my young age of adult development that provided me with what would seem reasonable life satisfaction. I was an older teen, so my friends at community college more closely matched, if not my moral being; then at least my career being; as compared to (or opposed to) my “close” childhood friends. Either way, they were none judgmental toward what some of them described to me as my intense moral standing without the backdrop or support of a specific faith, and with the exposure to several faiths/religions in sometimes deep form throughout my life. I was too non-spiritual then though moral; from a place everyone wondered where? to be able to defend myself against those that were not my friends with my perceptions and my behaviors. The mains folks I was unable to defend myself against to were my family members. Perhaps it is better to say none of my family members were close to me then, but some were living within to me in proximity. Their attacks on my character have been life-long and without cessation. Just yesterday, my mother told me something that if I were younger would have dropped my jaw in shock; about myself. As we can see I am once again, after many years living in close proximity to some of my family members. But what’s interesting to me, is that this pattern of an abusive family, is something that for me has not been resolved. What were beatings of physical violence when I was younger, have transformed into attacks on my sanity; and with the hope that my biological father’s pathology, as claimed by them has been passed on or inherited by me. With high hopes. Then there have been the lies about their occupations, their pastimes, their : who-they-are: not just to me, but to others. For me what was once an expression of who-I-was, has been changed by not just their deceit but the shock of abuse, call it once I was:
a gender bending
and “scared” “not too smart”
person who stands for improvement in the deepest sense possible in at least my own head (but who’s looking in there?);
has turned into somebody who literally does not care about what you think about me, and who I am whatsoever.
What does this have to do with death, mortality, and my own being?
I see life as a pattern, where we are both responsible for our own situations (given where we live and who we are), and where all everywhere are responsible for what is happening to us, also.
Odd, but this notion has turned into a career of volunteer work.
It’s not that I blame others for my situations, but I have seen too often, as people like members of my family lie and deceive any those that support me; only because they want to, and those that support me no longer support me but instead support my family; and this continues on until of course they experience my family on-their-own, and withdraw themselves from their lives almost completely, and often out of fear.
When a seemingly kind person, with evidence, tells you that it is really that bad;
perhaps you should listen to that, and not say or think that somebody else has it worse.
In some traditions they call that Karma, and I have that exact word tattoo’d on my arm.
So when I was about nineteen, I had a moral standing and reasonably high life satisfaction, but I was still living at home with my family, and being of course abused. So what, my family, said, so many people are abused. Yes, so what. But the abuse is secondary to my life, my first thing ever was my desire to change things: the way you me and they think about spirituality, morality, and where they f* we are going to go after death; and death from now, death from today; because like I want a plan, I don’t want to be thrown into another situation without a plan, and with people beating me at age 11 for hanging out with my friend, and without ever telling me not to. I don’t want to be told that I’m a “bitch” and that I’m not going to ever transfer to Berkeley; especially, when it’s not true. I also don’t want to be told that I’m not spiritual, when I’ve been told that I’m going to be damned to Hell for not being your type of Christian, and Jesus does not care how moral I am; I also don’t want to be told that women cannot be geniuses, and I also don’t want to be told that I was a deva in a former life, and I only came to this world because I like other devas no matter how powerful of spiritual beings are evil; and not just evil because of their power more evil than for example the “normal” evil being; I also don’t want to be told that nothing in this world changes for the better, and that I am too idealistic, and that I am irresponsible; and that having a mother means you do whatever she wants no matter how much she puts you down, lies about who you are, and of course abuses you in other not so easy
I don’t want to be told this, and I want everybody to know just what’s happened; and how it started in just one place:
because starts happen everywhere life begins all of the time, when you start a new job, develop a new friendship, look somebody in the “face” for the first time, or something else;
when I was nineteen I was at this workplace, and when I was training for my job; a perfect or nearly perfect job for me at the time, the folks I was training with for, we had a deep sort of discussion; and in this deep discussion, I saw the smallness of life and the depth of spirituality
or at least the journey who is you; I had a boyfriend, who then later cheated on me, and it was a very horrible situation, one that nearly ruined for me my first year as a transfer student at Berkeley. And most people would say what the heck’s the big deal to have somebody cheat on you; it’s no big deal it happens all the time, and you got him back didn’t you. No I never cheated, but I denied his marriage proposal, and of course eventually, I moved on. After I got bad grades for a year at Berkeley, after I left school; to my family’s glee, and after I changed my major, and my career focus, once again; they said.
Because for me every issue like this: whether it is cheating, or character attacks, or your dog dying, each of these mean something; and they mean to me something major; this life is transient, and it’s so important because of this; so when I have a deep fear at nineteen, a seemingly worldly fear of being cheated; a just plain that so important worldly fear; death has entered my life; and this of course doesn’t mean that I am going to die now, but it means again
death has entered
and I’m only
and I’ve worked so hard
and I work so hard
for a high level of self-built life satisfaction,
something that was mostly an impossible state for me because of my deeply
So this life-satisfaction is highly important to me,
and later when the cheating happens, and it’s dragged out,
and it’s something of small adult teenage scandal;
and it takes a few years of life for me to recover,
and my life doesn’t stop during those few years, but it certainly
stunts; for example, my college graduation is put off for years,
and my major change incites even more rage from my family,
to the point that I stop speaking of it, and lie if I have to in large family circles, until
the end: until I graduate. C’mon Psychology isn’t a major or something, even at Berkeley,
and they suggest with severe abuse that I drop out immediately, and stop my education; but since we’re not that well-off then, financial aid and not my mother pays for my education; so like my entire extended family doesn’t have too much say, unless of course they fork over the cost of undergraduate education; and would you know it being without too much was good luck for me then, if you believe in luck.
and when I’ve recovered I’m so noticeably different,
everybody wants to know where is the Old Goura,
because the old Goura is dead.
And all of this from having a fear (at nineteen my biggest worldly fear was being cheated on)
of being cheated on by my community college boyfriend. C’mon it’s no big deal. But for somebody who takes every inkling of anything very seriously, it
is was a very big deal,
one that killed who I was then, in a sort of self-developing suicide of identity.
At the end of it, our relationship; he told me he owed me greatly for “making” his life, and
I’m still not sure what that means:
I need to suicide my identity to let him keep the identity that I contributed to in our relationship, and identity that was one of life
And at re-examination at
34, my biggest worldly fear:
So in a span of less than two decades, a lot has changed, a lot.
That’s my number 11 from My Death Project about how a fear can cause death for me and/or brings death into my life.
And just so you don’t think I forgot shortly around then, a war had started in the World, again. Just to make it more
References for Death Project:
Death & Dying,
Life & Living
Sixth Edition, Seventh Edition only by Charles A. Corr and Donna M. Corr
By Charles A. Corr Clyde M. Nabe Donna M. Corr
(3 Handbook of Thanatology 2nd Edition
David K. Meagher & David E. Balk
eye of my heart
edited by barbara graham