Chapter 9 -  A Spiritual Emergency

 Nov. 1980 - May 1981


 I woke up this morning knowing my beloved Becky is gone forever, gone away in the night with someone else. My friend and "lover," the only woman I ever felt really loved and respected by, has taken the rest of her belongings and is gone for good. No more will I see her beautiful hair or feel her warm soft body in bed at night. No more hugging, arguing, fighting.

"Who am I without Becky?” The memories, the past and future unexpressed feelings and present struggles were all about her. With her gone, what is left for me? I have no more dreams to fulfill, no direction, no inspiration, no reason to continue living, except for my daughters.

However, those seem to be just facts now, because for some strange reason I feel empty and lighter, more relaxed and focused on my surroundings. The pain and anguish from last night isn't painful, it has faded into the background somehow. It's really weird and so strange to feel empty of all the pain and desperation I felt last night. This is unlike my regular old self. It feels like I have a new lease on life. I feel like creating a new life for me, by me. 

November  29, 1980   My forty-first birthday comes and goes. 

In one sense there is great relief to be in my “orange” world, without “apple” thoughts. I guess this is how orange people feel. There is a feeling of not knowing which end is up, such as I have not experienced before. My mind doesn't seem to be operating and I feel helplessly orange now. With no apple mind control present, everything seems really different and unreal.

My heart says, I will wait for Becky for two years. I gave her that long to un-love me, in my sick and immature refusal to commit to the relationship she wanted. I will give myself the liberty of taking that long to un-love her. I will take her back any time between now and then, if she finds love for me buried inside somewhere. If I wait long enough, it might come. She couldn’t wait, so maybe I can’t. But if I could wait it would be so beautiful…so adult…so giving…so “orange!” If we belong together, it will happen, this I know deep inside.

I am flowing like a river. I wonder what will stop me. "Don't Stop the River,” was a book Becky gave me a year ago. 


Dec. Last night at the lesbian support, I felt greatly rewarded. I talked with Elaine Craft, a nice counselor person who gave me much support and encouragement. Today at school I feel full of love because of other mother's support.

I had started the group for other Lesbian mothers, but now it becomes a support group for me. I was real, honest and open. I took an emotional risk and shared the worst about me and they still accepted, understood and hugged me. They validated how I felt about myself. I felt real love and friendship, which was a brand new experience for me. My old apple self always handled problems and challenges alone and felt undeserving of help from others.

I'm standing stronger than I ever have before. I am making it. I have "struck back" with new plans. I will go on in school and I'll get a good job and find a lover and be happy. I'm strong enough now to handle it. We'll have money and a good life without Becky. I thought I needed her. I am angry for pretending I did. I am all grown up now. With people like Elaine's help and another counselor, I'll put my life back together stronger than I've ever been before. I'll come out ahead. 

I can now love myself, even though I have done bad things. There are reasons why I did bad things and the Lesbian mothers felt the same way about me as I did. For the first time in my life I felt genuinely heard and understood by others. I didn't know for sure when I started talking if they would accept me and care about me. But they sure did. They are all lovely Lesbians like myself. I am learning that connecting emotionally with people is what fills me. 

Nancy, the potential chair of our group now is special, I feel a lot from her, support wise. I love them all. I can hardly believe it has happened to me. I can and do feel love and I have friends. Friends, friends, friends; it feels so delicious. The room rang with “thank yous" from them to me and me to them collectively and individually. It was beautiful. What I do for people is beautiful and I get it back from them. By giving I receive.

Being left for another was just as painful as being left for drugs, like Joe did, maybe more so. Becky and I had a much more intense relationship than he and I did. For myself though, I've grown so much in the past two years, more than ever before in my whole life. Ours was a relationship chuck full of emotional and psychological growth, for which I am extremely grateful.

Becky loved me to the end when she couldn’t love me anymore. But she loved me long enough to show me that love can and is beautiful. Becky is my first beautiful Lesbian love. She really did love me. She won. She knew inside I really did love her. I think she felt that if she loved me long enough, my love would leak out to her someday. She did and it did. I fell in love with a Lesbian. I am once more a Lesbian, but still don't want to be a Lesbian.

Dec. 27  In two more days it will be a month since I wrote in this here journal. It seems I didn't need to write for comfort when I experienced comfort in real life with friends. I am much, much stronger now; Becky's gone for good. Feeling good that it's over. Feeling good that the year is almost over; the year of pain and rejection from all directions. Now I have nowhere else to go but up. I will succeed. I am a winner.

  1981  A floundering year  

~ Profound emotional changes & Orange development ~

Thurs. Jan 1 — It is time to write it all down. A definite change is happening. I am not the old self-centered Keri, she is gone forever. But who am I? Since I have not ever seriously considered  a life without Becky, there is a void. In that void there is a “me” adrift in what feels like an ocean with no thoughts and no direction. Where is the shore and how do I reach it? 

The house is messy and I see lots of things that need doing. I want to clean and organize everything and oddly enough I feel like I have the energy as well as the desire to do that. 

A new me, a new identity has been born and is developing. My New Year’s resolution will be Me! Me! Me! Basically because it is high time to focus on me, to be with me and for me; not a self-centered me, but a loving and caring me. I have fallen in love with me. 

I noticed, more than ever before, how I dress, how unkempt my hair looks, my unshaven legs, rough feet, dry face, clothes that don’t fit, not many clothes, fat abdomen from not exercising after having babies, unmade bed, old nightgown, messy house. It all starts with me, noticing what the old me didn't seemed to notice.

Affirmation- I’m going to be a computer programmer. I will be well groomed at all times! I will have pride and self-respect. I will have a job and support my family. That's pride. I will be good at the work I do. I will look as good as I feel. I hope my girls will get through this new year with me. My energy will be on me now not them, for this next year at least. I will learn how to be a new me. I still feel disoriented.

I’ve made a complete list of everything I can think of that needs doing, buying or tending to. I'll have no more "shoulds" after completing all these things. It feels good to see them on paper at least, tomorrow I'll begin. I feel relief already and talking to this journal will relieve me of the stress of carrying it around inside my head.

Saturday — Today I got a sweater and pants, sheets and a mattress cover. I got a tire and my front wheels lined up. I also got the vacuum fixed. I'm on my way! Tomorrow I'll do number six and maybe seven, crossing off each one as I accomplish it. Monday, I’ll begin number 5. I’m on an action road now. Positive feelings are coming. There can be no other way now but up. The bottom has come and gone. I don't feel sorry for Keri anymore. Life will be what I make it!

I'm scared tonight. I vacuumed the living room in anger and rearranged the furniture. Pam and Katie helped, after I screamed at them to do so. 

In this clean, clean room I feel so very scared. In the past I've also felt scared in a clean room. Noticing a very clean house makes me feel uncomfortable. I wonder why. Tonight I identified it as a strong and frightened feeling. 

It might be because my outside doesn't match my inside. There's a mismatch somehow, between the outside of me and within me. Before I turn off the light, I take an elongated look at the very clean living room. It is pleasing to look at, yet why does it feel so scary? Maybe I'm plain not used to it, but I carry the question to bed.

Wednesday —New insight: I don't want to give people what they want when they want it yet, I expect people to give me what I want what I want it. If they don’t, I get angry at them. 

I feel like I have been reborn. Something is happening within me. I recognize it as a positive growth step. I can't quite explain it except that it feels like I am trusting something inside me more than I ever used have. I am being more vulnerable, not as closed off and controlling as before. There’s a desire to open up, that I've only imagined in the past. 

Yesterday I had a strong desire to touch with the palms of my hands. The inside of my whole hand was sensitive and wanted to touch. I don't ever remember being aware of this feeling before. But I know all these new feelings and experiences are coming from a much stronger orange part of me.

My apple as orange… craves physical touch. My orange as apple… craves emotional touch. When apple and orange touch each other, there is love. There is balance. Wherever there is balance, there is something good. I am now experiencing a lot of my day feeling as if I was stoned when I haven't smoked pot in several months. I want more of these non-verbal, orange experiences; these amazingly wonderful orange experiences that words cannot describe. We want more of them.

I will learn how to be alone and be okay. I will enjoy being alone. I would like to be able to be alone, but not lonely. I won't let my ego/intellect thrive. I won't let my emotions be in control. In reality though, I want to be in control. I want what I want, but I can't have what I want. 


Ruth Falk wrote in “Women Loving,” “… that was the way I structured my space, just acting or responding to events rather than ordering parts of my life the way I wanted or needed them to be.” This is so significant to me. It is exactly how I want to live.

There's a sense and a feeling of comfort, along with some insecure feelings, being here in the now; missing her, but not missing her. I will learn to live in a way that takes its joys and pains as they come. I won't expect anything, so no rejection or disappointment can happen. Plan some, but not to control. Allowing myself options for fun, joy, companionship and love; being intimate if I want to. 

No one will hurt if everyone is honest about their feelings. I have let go of my old painful life. Trying now to find out who I am as a single person. It feels like I’m fumbling in the dark, with no guidance, yet open to whatever comes at me next. 

I begin to attend the Unitarian church that Becky had introduced me to shortly after we moved here. After talking with several people, I discover that their philosophy and ideas about life are exactly like mine. I begin attending each Sunday and find it quite satisfying as well as enjoyable to communicate with others who think like I do.

I feel such a strong need now to meet, be with and make friends with straight people, although I simply love Lesbians. To me, Lesbians are so open, intelligent, honest and caring. However, I have a need to know and be emotionally close to more than one person. I feel alone and isolated in the world. I am living in a trance a lot of the time now, not knowing who I am, or where I am going in life, feeling so disoriented. 

Came to this journal/diary from the orange world today. I didn't use the right section, but it doesn’t matter. Tried to subtract an amount from in my checkbook and had a lot of trouble subtracting. Didn't want to come back to apple thinking world, but have to in order to focus and function properly. 

Being apple seems to help deal more with life situations, calculating, planning and deciding things. Being orange is a freer feeling; being emotional with people, feeling, being without stress or problems. I like that so much better. I am thrilled I don't need to smoke pot anymore to be in my orange world.

Wed. - I got more done today from my list than I expected, but I had no chance to study my programming lesson. There isn't enough time in my life to do everything. Tomorrow and Friday in school without coming home. Saturday is the dream workshop, 10 to 4. Sunday, is church. I like to socialize, but I am a mother with three teenage daughters to be with and do for. How can I do so much for myself? It makes me uncomfortable. The girls are so good through all my messiness.

Feb.  I'm feeling overwhelmed with all my duties today. There’s Kim to enroll at the YWCA camp, but maybe the slots are filled. Monday morning I'll go and find out. Also I need to go to the college to get the schedule so Sherry can enroll before classes fill up. There are calls to make. There's a garden to plant. There's a computer program to be written as well as a resume. There is a job to be gotten. There's me to take care of! 

There are spare rooms to be cleaned up. There's an ad to be put in for a boarder. There's a desk to be cleaned up. There's me to take care of!  There's a car to be waxed. There's a dog to be shampooed. There's a fridge to be cleaned. There's me to take care of! When, where, how I ask thee?

For days and weeks I feel like I am floating in the ocean, knowing I must find the shore, but not sure where it is. Frequently floundering and flailing, desperately hoping for something to come along that I can hold on to; a log…a scrap of wood…anything to help me stay afloat. But nothing comes and I am left struggling, alone in an unknown ocean/world, with no guidance whatsoever, coming from anywhere in what feels like a very desolate place. 

I continue the struggle to stay afloat in the ocean, alone. I am floating only, with no mind to show me the way.

Feb. –  Home from church, I go in my bedroom. On my bed is a sweet little Easter basket with a cardboard bunny cutout created by Katie. There is a card and I read it through my tears of joy. “Easter is here, it's that time of year, to have a lot of fun, with bunnies and cake, there is still eggs to make! We'll rejoice till day is done.” At the bottom it says, “I hope this Easter is a very happy one. From Katie" 

I am crying so hard and I don't know why. I love Katie so much. I wish she were here so I could tell her. I believe both Katie and Pam love me. Pam leaves me notes when she goes away. They do think of me, which is hard for me to believe. David was at church and he came over to say hi and exchange some thoughts, I like him. I get a good feeling from several people; Jay, David, Tom, no women yet. I love the “at ease” feeling I have now. I am loving some people.

At the next lesbian support meeting I hand my leader position over to Nancy. I tell them I will be fighting for women’s rights some other way. I tried to keep it light, hiding my inner pain and turmoil. I am still very disoriented. I have no desire to interact or socialize with anyone. Someone saw me sitting and just staring into space in another room and asked, 

"Are you okay?" I could only nod my head yes. 

There is a strong sense of calmness and tranquility to not thinking. I felt zoned out; no pain here and there's a feeling of relief that Nancy would carry on the work I'd begun. Now the group can continue on without me. 

Note: A few years later they made themselves into the Northern Chapter of "Southern California Women for Understanding" and I felt very proud of what I had started and proud of them for continuing on.


Mar.  Jeremy Taylor came and gave his first dream workshop at church. I enjoy it so much. I became very interested in my dreams. I believed this workshop would help me understand my emotional life and all that is going on in it. After the workshop several of us continued sharing dreams in a weekly dream group. I kept a dream journal and being in a weekly dream group was extremely helpful for me. I did deep introspection, reflecting and contemplating on my “past” life which revealed so much to me.

I was able to see my dreams reflecting more and more of my current life. They were mostly of burned out houses and a lot of train trips to somewhere. Maybe they were a reflection of my old self, burned up and destroyed. I am on an emotional journey not yet taken, destination unknown. In other dreams I am driving cars whose brakes, I have to push with all my might, yet don't stop the car. That would be "Me, out of control," I’d say. I'm aware that my dreams reflect my life. I notice that what I experienced emotionally during the day got expressed pictorially in my dream world at night.

Yesterday, I learned about being honest. Today I made my first friend. He is in our dream group and is someone I like, trust, am attracted to and feel somewhat close to. He also seems to have the orange qualities and characteristics I love. The ones I'm aspiring to incorporate into my own Being, along with kindness and a genuine sincerity. I feel like I can be honest with him and share my true feelings. He's someone who is in pain from losing his partner. I know that pain well. I've lived through it and I'm coming up from the depths of despair myself now, thanks to the people at church and my first real friend… Tom.

I am struggling in computer school and the pace is also slow. I feel so disoriented and ungrounded. Emotional pain is high. I'm unable to concentrate and in total breakdown mode. Studying is a tremendous effort. I'm worried about not having enough money. I'm now trying to learn the last language, Cobol and I am stumped. It is very long and difficult. I need to concentrate and focus, which is very hard to do these days, being so orange. Computer programming is for apple folks and I'm not apple anymore, what to do?

I am pretty convinced I can never master this Cobol in my current emotional state. I will have to cheat in order to graduate. It is the only way out of what I see as an impossible situation. I keep the emotional quagmire inside of me. There's noone else interested.


April –– My daughter’s school newsletter came in the mail. I take it to my bedroom to read. I want to become involved with the high school since for the next four years I'll have two daughters in high school. I read what was being offered. Parenting workshops, etc. I wonder if I would be in the minority on my “forward thinking” child philosophies. 

I take the newsletter go into the living room. Pam is sitting on the couch and Sherry is also there reading. I gave Pam the Jr. high letter to read as I sit in a chair.

"They voted to have ninth grade in the high school next year, for sure?” Pam asks, startled. 

“For sure,” I answer saying, “that's good in a way…” 

She becomes visibly upset and interrupts with an angry remark.

"The kids will think I'm ninth grade instead of tenth," she leaves the room.

My thoughts turn to Sherry, who is not wanting to participate in this conversation. I ask her, 

"What kind of groups are in high school?"  

She says, “I don't know,” in a sarcastic tone. 

I reflect over Sherry’s early years the time I held her, and laid her on my lap facing me, as I sat all night on the couch, because she wouldn't stop crying when I put her in the crib. She was only a few weeks old. I looked into her face and tried to imagine what she'd look like as a teenager.

If only I had been able to love and cuddle her that night and every night. I could have talked softly to her, caressed her cheek, loving her every night. But unfortunately, I had no idea such behaviors existed. Instead of feeling love I was indifferent to this baby and angry because she was crying. 

Sherry was being indifferent to me now and appears to be angry too. I remember how, when she was three, holding her on my lap facing me, while she sang me a song. She was so innocent, so beautiful, so trusting, singing and completely open. I burst out laughing. I laughed at her innocence and her vulnerability. I laughed insensitively and I hugged her instinctively, hoping she wouldn’t feel like I was laughing at her. How could I have been so insensitive? I don't know, but I was. 

I wipe the tears from my eyes trying not to let her know I am feeling so sad. I was internally with my Sherry when she was a baby holding her and loving her. Now she sits on the couch, out of touch, closed off, angry because she has to live, angry because she has no friends. 

After a few minutes I ask her if she still wants to go camping and at first she says yes. I press on,

“Will you go with just me or does there have to be others?” 

Now she doesn't know if she wants to go or not.

After a few moments I say, next to tears with my voice quivering, 

“I would buy a tent for you if you wanted to go camping.” 

Then I say to myself, I’d do anything for you Sherry because I love you so much and I am sorry for unknowingly teaching you how to close people off, with my own closed off behavior towards you earlier in your young life. After a few more moments she gets up and leaves.


I have begun to love my own little girl self internally and it feels wonderful. We both enjoy getting to know Tom and a new friend, Jay on a more intimate level in the dream group each week and I feel close to both of them. After a few weeks everyone else dropped out. Tom, Jay and I continue meeting for several months. 

I love Jay, he is a really good listener. I am usually the one who listens patiently to others tell me their tales of woe, but Jay listens to me and offers good counseling which I love. I date him a few times. Twice we happily sleep together with no sex and he is quite comfortable with that, which surprises and pleases me tremendously. When we were discussing relationship possibilities, Jay mentions in so many words, that I would be a good partner for him, almost. I am saddened and don’t know why I am only almost good enough for him. I feel love for him.


April  The Voc Rehab people, paid so much for my schooling. They're extremely nice and so supportive. I feel like I must go on an interview for a computer programming job, even though I don’t really want one anymore. I don’t believe I can even have a profession, especially now that my left brain apple mind is so severely curtailed.

They outfitted me in a skirt suit, complete with a briefcase for my interviews and they all seemed unusually proud of the professional way I looked. My self-esteem was boosted briefly. I am so used to casual dress and comfortable shoes, so this attire felt uncomfortably strange, but according to them, it looked totally natural. It felt far from natural to me. Dressing this way, made me feel foreign. 

This was my first experience of a counselor sincerely wanting to help and support me. They seemed to have so much more faith in me than I had in myself. If it wasn’t for the secrecy of the illegal Lesbian world, I could share how I was so emotionally broken I had to cheat to graduate. 

But I couldn't share that my life had been broken apart, split right down the middle. I couldn’t share that my woman partner had suddenly left me, against my will and I couldn't concentrate on my studies. So I lied to my wonderful Voc. Rehab counselor. I let her down big time, which resulted in huge guilt feelings for me.


May  - Today was a high and a positive job interview. I wasn't nervous and I was dressed right. I knew I looked good. I could concentrate on what I was saying and what the interviewer was asking. I believe it went well. Dressed well, overdressed actually. First time I noticed internal calm and ease. I can talk easily when I forget how I look. I looked good today. I was told I almost passed the computer programming interview, but not quite. No reasons given so I am left to figure things out on my own, as always.

I don’t want to struggle anymore. I wish I could have said to the job interviewer, "The Love of my life left me hanging, with nothing beneath my feet to stand on. I'm totally lost, please forgive me." But I couldn't speak that Truth. 

I knew my apple ego, with its strong desire to work in a detail oriented world of programming, would never return. However, the rehab people are even willing to help me find some other kind of related job,

They called and suggested I go to their "job club" and I agree, thinking with their help and my new positiveness, I will eventually get a regular job. Maybe I won't be able to save money, but it will be a beginning. I'll be on the road to success. I am able to begin to accept my limitations now. The less I try and control, the more emotional energy I seem to have. 


I am the discussion leader tonight for the Lesbian support group for mothers, that I’d started a while back. The group is loud in a noisy room. There were five of us and I am trying to figure out how to calm everyone down and begin. Stress management was the subject and laughter was abound. I think everyone was releasing their stress. 

Gwen said something about my life being easy because I didn't have trouble with babysitters. I had questioned her as to what she meant by easy. Then it happened...from out of nowhere Gwen was saying to me, 

“Really? You were a single mother? You raised three children?"

Marlene had told Gwen. Then Terry looked at me and asks, 

“For how long?” 

Feeling grateful for being asked, I replied,

“About nineteen years.” 

For a few brief seconds I felt recognized and understood by these women who are a lot younger than I. Relishing those few seconds of feeling understood, I say to myself, I want more of this recognition, it feels really good. I will hold this special feeling in memory for a long time. 





























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