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      Get Smart on the Web   09/16/2016

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True love and loss. My second cousin.

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Excuse my overly long and boring story, but I really want to share my experience with this community, as I have been reading all the posts from afar for several years now and feel like I may be able to contribute to the forum in some way, and maybe connect with people who feel the same way, and maybe even find some answers to my problems..who knows?

I shared a long and intense love with my second cousin. She was and is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, and we have had such an amazing connection that has only ever grown in the +6 years that we have been intimate. I did not know her growing up but we became friends in my first year of university (we are the same age) where we both had long term relationships with other people. We became close and had great rapport and were so playful with each other, and over a year and a half later we were both out of our relationships and that's when we first began to explore our intimacy with one another. At first we were in denial and never really talked about it, it progressed so slowly but steadily and amazingly, we knew that the feelings we had and the physical connection was unlike anything else in this world, so we kept at it. Our relationship grew from there. It was purely physical for the longest time, always so intense, but we always kept it hidden. In hindsight, that was not the best decision. We felt like no one would understand it, and to be fair the thrill of it probably increased the fun factor a little bit, but realistically, that thrill became less of a fuel and it blossomed into a relationship based moreso on love. That being said, we were always living at least an hour apart during the winter and about 8 hours apart in the summer, so it was always a long distance relationship, which made the secrecy even easier to keep up. But that was okay with us; all we needed was each other.

3 and a half years of this constantly growing affection eventually harboured some intense feelings of jealousy while we were apart, until we got to a point where we recognized out loud our strong love for each other and outwardly expressed our love and started planning our future and became explicitly monogamous. The spark we had just kept getting stronger and stronger, we were referring to each other as 'the one', and we would stare into the other's eyes for hours and I would just marvel at her beauty while she did the same to me. I would spare no expense or commitment to see her, we went so many places and it was honestly blissful. We never fought, and we were insatiable together. It was an incredible feeling just intrinsically knowing that your lover feels as strongly about you as you do them. We began spending every moment together and our relationship started to really take off. I was the happiest man in the world for those few short months. We were the happiest couple in the world. We made so many plans and fantasized about our future, and we wanted to spend some more time as this more-open-couple before coming out to our families. We were finally becoming very comfortable having public displays of affection and embracing that we were together regardless of our cousin-cousin relation. I was going to apply for med school and move in with her while she found a job as she had just graduated as a dental hygienist. We found a nice little basement suite to start out, but as it turned out life threw a huge hurdle in the way which turned out to be the turning point of our relationship, and our lives.

We found out that she was pregnant the day after we moved in.  I told her I loved her and supported however she wanted to handle the situation, and we decided to have an abortion. Considering where we were at in life, and how we hadn't come out to our families at all, I totally understand it...but that being said, of course we have regrets. I was with her through the clinic visits and ultrasounds...so many tears. I just kept telling her I loved her and I meant it every time. We had to wait almost a month for the actual procedure, which is insane, and she left to deal with things all on her own until then. She went back to her hometown and disappeared.

What ensued was a tumultuous month, I won't go into the details for sake of time, but I just kept trying to be with her but she kept drifting away. I slipped into depression for the first time in my life. Everything was so perfect and then suddenly the only thing I cared about and wanted in life was seemingly gone, and nothing had really changed, in my mind at least. She was trying to let go, I could feel it, and I couldn't understand how or why so I kept fighting for her, she couldn't handle what had happened and the fact that we were cousins. One day she finally answered my call, and I told her that I had to take her to the procedure or else I would regret it for the rest of my life. She obliged, and I drove her to the hospital the day of the abortion. It was the first time I saw her in a month and she was like a ghost; cold and intangible. I cried. She cried. We talked a little bit. She asked if I was okay. I lied and said yes. The next day she asked me to leave as she needed time to heal. I begged her to not push me away but that I understood and then I kissed her hand, said I love you, and left her be. That was so hard to do. I was utterly broken.

After two weeks of her disappearing again, and me unable to do anything but cry to my friends and drive 5 hours at a time just to stay busy, she came back to see me to talk about us and our future. On her drive to me she lost control of her car on the highway a flipped it into a snowbank. She was okay, thank goodness. I rushed out to get her. The car was totalled so she stayed with me for a couple days. We talked and cried like crazy again, she still was trying to let go but couldn't do it completely, and I knew exactly why she couldn't. The same reason I couldn't quit her, because of how strongly we feel for each other. She said she hoped the feelings would 'come back' but I knew there was something else to this, the feelings were still there, I could tell. She was trying so hard not to touch me or allow anything to develop. It was so unnerving. I became desperate and begged her to come to Mexico with me, I would pay for it all. I would give every last cent I have for a chance to be with her...she finally agreed.

And in Mexico she came back to me. It was surreal! Our love picked up where it left off, we finally made love again for the first time since the procedure and the spark was stronger than ever and the feelings and chemistry were crazy. I knew they were never gone, so did she, and we knew we could get through anything. But, that something else I mentioned earlier was still in her mind.

When we got back home things didn't turn around for good. Once we were back and separated by distance as I went back to work for the summer, she became distant on weekends. It turned into a year long chase where she would disappear for days, make up excuses, I would ask for explanations and feel horrible but just wanted a chance to love her, then she would come see me or me go see her and everything would be perfect while we were together. She would tell me she wanted me forever and always and that she wanted to marry me. I would say that I want the same thing and ask her why she can't just come be with me? Why keep disappearing? And she said that she just can't face her parents, or come to terms with what we are, but would then say she's not letting go of me, she can't.

But when I left from our meet-ups, I would see photos of her with another guy and hear rumours about her. She kept me away from her hometown under the premise that her parents would disown her if we were to be found out. I was so in love with her, and new that she was lost, that I just kept making excuses for her, and told myself that maybe if I hold on just one more day, she will realize what I already have realized, that love is the most important thing, and not to base her life around the judgements of her parents. But it turned out to all be in vein.  She was living a double life and couldn't get out of it. She was with another guy in her hometown and her friends and family knew about that, all while she was keeping me invested in our future and leading me on. I was but a fairytale to her. I found out through Facebook photos of her and him in Mexico together that I was not supposed to see, and in my totally destroyed state I messaged her about it, and she finally confessed after a year of denying it and lying to me. She lost it, she couldn't take it and she left me before I could do anything, right there via text. I didn't even have time to process it. I drove for 15 hours and turned off my phone just to get away.

The worst part was that a part of me knew what was happening for so long and wanted to help her see the light and not live in fear of us being cousins, and so just chose to live in denial. I knew that no other relationship she would have would ever compare to what I can give her, mentally and physically. But even though I had a hunch, seeing those photos and hearing the truth from her, I could never have been prepared for it. That was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I would die for this woman, I would move anywhere anytime to be with her and I poured every ounce of love I had into her...I simply had nothing left. I still don't.  This was in April of 2015.

I went back to work for the summer, and just tried to cope and move forward. I completely invested myself in my job and into working out. I started to feel a bit better, but somehow I had already forgiven her in my mind and knew that I wanted her back, I just thought she was happy in her other life. It was absurd to me, she had cheated, I was having a battle of self respect. I wanted to message her but knew that no good could come of it. She had committed to her 'other' life and there was nothing I could do about it. I questioned all the times we said that we wouldn't be able to love anyone else or be with anyone else for the rest of our lives. I questioned whether the feelings I thought were so perfect were even real. But eventually I emailed her.

She replied very quickly, it was tough at first. She knew she had hurt me and felt terrible for it, she was very forthright with how she felt about me and that I am indeed the one, her other life was non existent now as she had realized that all she cared about was me. I was dubious and fearful, my trust had been broken but I loved this girl more than life itself so I kept talking to her. Our connection was still there, but I was scared to commit. We met up, it was amazing when we were alone, but in public I had a tough time with opening up, I was still scared. She cried and apologized for what she had done to me. She gave me a journal filled with letters and poems she had written the past couple months. It was all so emotional and heartfelt, It echoed my desires exactly. Before I left she asked if she could kiss me, I said yes and we kissed, and her entire body was literally shaking after and she was crying with overwhelming happiness...at that moment I knew that it was always real. 

We talked more and more and saw each other more and more. It was kind of a grey area as to what we were formally to her, but in my head I knew there was no one else for me. I told her I just needed to build up trust in her, I wanted it to work, which was true...months went by, but I could tell it was starting to hurt her now, she wanted more from me, and I was just too scared to give it all at that point. Our chemistry when together was perfect, but when we had to separate I had a hard time with it; trust issues perhaps? We decided to have a talk, lay it all out on the table and ask the tough questions to get past everything. I thought we made real progress, and I left that weekend knowing that I had to make a decision. I was either all in or all out...I already knew the answer. I was in.

However, once again, right when I thought for sure things were going to turn out how I wanted, that I would tell her I love her and want to be with her forever, she started being shady again. But still, she came down to see me out of the blue and we made love and had an amazing night together, I confessed how I felt about her, she cried with tears of joy as she said that she didn't deserve me, so I said "yes, you do" and asked her if I can have her forever and always again, and she said yes. I didn't like how she said she didn't deserve me. It felt eerily similar to a year before. As she left the next morning she seemed to be so into us, she said like 50 times over the next few days on the phone that she missed me like crazy, and then suddenly.....nothing.

She went distant again. She would ignore me. Not talk to me about anything. I had finally let myself be truly vulnerable after months of self preservation, and this was happening again?!

I love this woman so much, I couldn't let go. I gave up on my studies, I had no motivation to do anything except workout and try to communicate with her. She kept me hanging on and teasing me with the idea of seeing me before Christmas until I finally messaged one of her friends on Facebook and found out she was in Florida seeing some guy...

I died.

Just like the last time she confessed when I told her I know, and then she told me it's over. That was Boxing Day 2015. I couldn't believe it.

I have been intermittently sending her emails over the past couple months pouring out my feelings because I have no idea what else to do. She doesn't reply. I love her and wanted that one chance to truly be with her and it got pulled from my hands again, but this go round I just can't seem to come to terms with moving on. I understand she treated me poorly, but we have a lifelong connection which I know she is trying to run away from by not talking to me. She knows if she lets me in she is hopeless against it. I wish she would just understand that no one cares what we are, and even if her mom disowns her, why would you want a person who doesn't support you to affect your life like that? But the fact that she was looking for something else and found it during the period where I had thought we were making real recovery strides after the original ordeal...it baffles me and I can't fathom how she did it. So here I am now in March, just getting through each day, one at a time. Usually very depressed and lonely and trying to keep my mind off of her with another person but to no avail. I am happy in the moments where I am busy, so I play golf, do martial arts, workout, do school stuff, and work on my truck to fight the pain and memories, but it only works for a couple hours. My mind and body craves her. I can't wait to start work again after this semester of school so I can dump myself into it. I know I should realize she was toxic for me, she has caused my life more sorrow than happiness, that I can find another woman who is so much nicer and wholesome, and that I can't force her to be with me, but she was the one who said she only ever wanted me only a couple months ago, and the last time I saw her she said she loved me, so I didn't think I'd need to force her. But anyway, I got to the point where I felt ready to go on some dates just to try it out. It was nice to socialize, but I couldn't stop comparing them to her, and I have her on such a pedestal that they didn't live up to it. So the women I went out with were much more interested in me than I was them, and it has actually set me back further, and I am starting to prepare myself for the long haul of being alone. I fear that my relationship with my 2nd cousin may have had a lasting negative effect on my life, and my love-life.

I realize that looks aren't everything, but having had this relationship with such intense physical chemistry and thrills and taboo and secrecy, and having been in it for 6 years, attraction has become so quintessential for my relationship to feel fulfilling and I'm not sure if that will change. Like I need that attraction there in order to be fully invested, and that comes from this past relationship 100%. I still find the odd woman to be attractive, don't get  me wrong, but they are so similar in ways to my cousin and most of them at this point in life (around 25) have significant others already, so it may be tough to find. Plus they need to be honest and loyal.

I only wish I could go back and do some things differently. Our potential was limitless and I still torture myself with thoughts of where we could be in five years together. I see now how the smallest decisions in life can have some substantial consequences. And for any of you reading this who are in love with your cousin and keeping it secret, may I tell you that it is not healthy to be in a secret relationship in any way. It will only breed codependency, which makes dealing with issues nearly impossible; I am exhibit A. Moreover, I told my parents the truth after she left me the first time, and they already knew and supported us, which was awesome, but it was too little too late.  If we had told them earlier, we wouldn't have had to sneak around for so many years, we could have been more openly together for longer, and who knows what would have happened from there...but, that's my insanely long story. I'm just a man who loves his 2nd cousin more than life itself, and currently does not have her and is broken and lost, but I am trying to fix myself. I just don't know how yet.

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Omg... So sorry for you. I cannot imagine your pain. If you happen to come upon this anytime soon, and I hope you do, I really think you should move on with your life. Take things slow with another non-related person and try not to get to into them.

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