It’s been over five years since my wife died, and my world changed forever. The person who I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with went away, never to return.
My wife knew all about me, the wanting to dress as a woman, and she accommodated me as much as she could, but she found it difficult. It wasn’t until the last few years of her life that she could go out with me as my alter ego. Perhaps, she realised she needed to allow me the space to grow, because she knew we didn’t have much time left together. She succumbed to cancer and passed in February 2015.
Nearly a year went by with lots of grief, lots of upset and new routines to adapt to as a single parent of two. I had sleepless nights, went to counseling, but struggled on; I had to. My alter ego was locked away. I couldn’t do this on my own; I had spent so long waiting for my wife to say it was ok that now I couldn’t do it, just for myself. It was another thing I was trying to cope with; a minor thing compared to losing her.
Then through a widows group I was in, I met someone. It’s a long story that I won’t bore you with. Suffice to say, that when we found out we liked each other, through the FB Admin doing a ‘Blind Date’ post (don’t ask), we started talking that first night. One of the first things to come up was my alter ego.
I had at work, done a charity thing, and dressed up for the day, many years ago. It had been done with my wife’s help, as if I was being made to do it, under duress as it were, but my wife and I knew different. Anyway, I had posted on FB pictures of the day, and my partner to be asked, “Do you often dress as a woman?”
I had a choice to make. My wife, only after we had married, found out about who I was. I didn’t want that to happen again. So I said, “Actually I do. I am a cross dresser.” She seemed ok with it. When we got together, and she came to my home, the first thing I did was show her my wardrobe. In it were three sets of clothes, mine, my wife’s (that took a long time to be packed away), and my alter egos.
We are still together; being who I am didn’t change a thing, although it did take about 18 months before she finally came to terms with the fact that this was not just me wanting to wear women’s knickers. Together, we decided to choose a new name for me – Maria.
I came out to my widow’s group. It went from 10 people, family and friends knowing about my secret to 400 FB friends knowing a new me. I spoke with HR about myself, and with their help told the company who I was. Not long after, I was spending time at work as Maria.
Then four months ago, restructuring took place, and I was made redundant after nearly 30yrs. I have found a new job, and while I interviewed as my male self, I asked about being able to work as Maria. When I got the job, I was given two ID cards – one for him, and one for me. In the first two months, I’ve only been him the first two days.
Since the moment that we chose my new name, I also realised that I’m not just a crossdresser I am trans. My partner helped me to realise that I’m happier as Maria. Within the last three years, I’ve come out to my widows’ groups, gone from a scared person worried what the neighbors might say, to going out on the town and living 24/7 as Maria.
I am confident in who I am, fuss about my styling, but pretty much know how I want to be and WHO I want to be. The next stage is to look into how to live permanently as Maria, what my options are and what issues are going to arise as I take the next step.
I have friends, family, and a wonderful partner by my side. She loves me no matter what. I have discovered an important fact since becoming a widow. Call it a Widows Mantra, if you will – You have only one life to live. So live it to the fullest.
That’s what I intend to do. And you should, too.