This afternoon I flipped on the movie channel and watched the latter part of some distant movie while I was flipping around totally not focused. I heard the title and quote from a children's classic that caused me to stop and think... whoa.

"....once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

The classic is "The Velveteen Rabbit. Wonderful story. I read it again tonight and cried like a baby. Just as the raggedy old Rabbit is tossed to the side, only to be picked up and made "real"- well. Why? ... because that's where we are. We all can relate on some level to the Velveteen Rabbit.

In my mind I was spent. I felt old way beyond 54 and so blame tired. I thought I had served my purpose for the family, for the abusers, and like the favorite rabbit, I was cast off. I thought I was dirty, full of those germs that cause disease, and not only was it time to be tossed to the side, I was beginning to agree.

Finally, in November I stared into the face of a guy turning 55. Alone and privately, secretly destroying himself. I started the therapy. I had this big birthday and I made a conscious decision to change the things I did have control over.

I told the T I had had enough and could not carry these secrets any longer. I told of the CSA and ASA and all things in-between. Of the fear and the anger and self-hatred. I told her of the nights of needless crying in the dark and the hope that the 'morrow would not come so soon. I told of the excessive self medicating and the acting out sexually...I even told her of the threats I had received that caused the ball bat to be permanently stationed at the door and by the bed. I told her of my ANGUISH.

And something began to happen. I began to understand. It has taken a full 6 months, but I am beginning to understand.

I had wanted to stay in the old world I knew because I was comfortable. It was what I had known. But when my family unit changed and the sons grew up and left to start their own, I had nothing. I was living in memories. Day to day to day memories. And then the bad ones came. The bad memories. And the burden of those memories came. And then the pain we all have felt. And then I made poor decisions and added to all of it.

Yet, with the help of T, I continued to gain understanding. It wasn't my fault I was raped. At any age. Young, old. And I can now say the word rape. I still cry as I type it, it still hurts, but what a change for the heart to know it wasn't my fault. Time moves, stability changes. I have to create the new for myself. One I fit into. I even accept myself with that.

I am not certain what the future will bring. None of us are. But if the decisions I make regarding how I want to live my live, which gender I prefer to spend my time with, I can guarantee this one thing. No one will ever think I am as ugly as I once thought I was. They just can't. I am becoming REAL in a way that my life requires I do and that is nothing but exciting. (...and full of grief and pain...) . REAL as in I hurt, I cry, I survived. REAL as in I WANT my future. REAL as in I am BILL and here I am.... and ... REAL as in I am beginning to feel the HEALING take place.

"...if I am REAL, then I will be ugly only to those that fail to understand..."

A couple weeks ago, I was called Dr Phil by a poster. And not in a nice way. Well, guys, guess what? ...Actually there is no guess what. I now know that the light I am beginning to see is much better that the darkness of not seeing it. And just don't call names. I've had enough abuse to last a lifetime. Actually, several lifetimes. Play nicely.

Follow the link and read the "V-Rabbit" again. It will be good for your spirit. And it will probably make you cry. Appreciate you all.

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/williams/rabbit/rabbit.html
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For now we see through a glass, darkly.