This story is one that is very long and somewhat strange. The girl that holds my heart completely is one that I have a relationship with for over 10 years now. Mind you, this isnt your ordinary relationship. We met at a family reunion probably when I was around 12 or so she was my grandmothers sisters adopted daughter.Over the years we got to know each other better and probably around the age of 16 I developed a bit of a crush on her. I flirted and hinted around with her, but she rejected my advances, due to the’family’ matters. I tried to explain to her that she and I were not really blood related so it would not be a problem, she mistook my explanation and it hurt her feelings so I immediately dropped the issue.Well it was probably 6 or 7 months later when I saw her again, she came up for a local festival. One night she came up to my room, sat on my lap and gave me a strong hug, which was not unusual as we had still become very close. Then after a moment she pulled back then smiled and simply kissed me q uite passionately, I was floored. When I asked her what this was about she told me that she had thought about what I had said to her and it did make sense. Well as time passed on we talked on the phone every few weeks, wrote each other regularly, but only saw each other 2 or 3 times a year for only maybe a day or two each time. We never said anything else to anyone in the family for fear of being disowned, you never know. But surprisingly around the time I turned 18 her mother dropped a bomb.’Everybody can see how you two feel about each other… why not just go for it.. again I was floored here was her mother giving her blessing, in fact every one on her side of the family was hinting toward us, The problem was mine, they didnt appear too receptive so we still held back. We still kept in touch after I went into the military, but we had just about given up hope that we could ever truly be together. She had a boyfriend, who wasnt too serious but the unexpected happened and she got pregnant.She moved in with him but didnt marry him. It turned out that this guy was a real monster, he beat her, was an alcaholic, an addict, if it was bad this guy was getting into it. She tried to leave several times but each time she was dragged back, either by mental games or threats against her or other members of her family. All of this time her and I still kept in fairly close contact. She ended up marrying him, I forget the reason why, mainly becuase when I found out I was very upset and hurt, I had always held on to the slight hope that her and I would be able to get things worked out so we could be together.So I pretty much quit talking to her for about a year, but I couldnt keep ignoring her, my feelings for her are unlike anything I have ever known. He had been in jail several times, she has tried leaving several times but each time he was able to force her into coming back by threatening to kill her mother or other family members- and I believe her when she tells me that she doesnt think he would hesitate to do it. So she would go back her reason being that she would rather be in the danger that leaving and putting everyone else she cares about in danger.We saw each other in person for the first time in three years. It was incredible the feelings I had for her. We talked most of the day, and as she left the hugged me and whispered into my ear that she still loved me. I could have floated away. I gave her my new adress and phone number so she could get in touch with me. I never heard from her…. I was going to call her and her mother asked me not to because if he was home when I did more than likely whe would get beaten for it. She never told him about us, but he wouldnt her to talk to any other male, period. So I didnt want to put her in any more jeopardy than she already was…Now to get the current issue.. I saw her this weekend. The moment I laid eyes on her my adrenaline went through the roof, I talked to her and found out that she had tried to write me a few letters but he had caught her and a fight had ensued. However, I dont remember the exact details but he is currently in prison, she has filed for a divorce. And because of that he has threatened to kill her when he gets out ( sometime in November)NOW for me it seems that everything is falling into place. . . I have an excellent job, live over 300 miles from there, and am thinking now is the time. So we continue to talk at the picnic, make arrangements to go out to dinner that night. I think we were both wondering ‘if it was still there’ as in our feelings. After dinner walking back to my car, we stopped and I kissed her, It was incredible the energy we shared between us. . I think it was a damn good thing we were in public, I was almost out of breath.We talked some more and I confessed to her that I still loved her very much, and she said the same of me. However when I asked her to come with me she turned me down. She said that she couldnt run away from him, she had to stand up and face him, or she would be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her life. Which kind of makes sense, but due to my protective nature the thought of her putting herself back into danger scares the hell out of me.The thought of her getting hurt tears me to peices. She also said that she cant risk anything happening to me, because he would very well try to do something to me if she was with me, and she couldnt bear to have anything happen to me. Not to mention because of this whole ordeal she has a little problem with trusting people. even me. So I am trying to stand by and let her settle this herself without pushing her too hard.She told me on the phone last night that she does love me, and pretty much everything that I feel about her she feels towards me except she cant allow herself to depend on someone else. She feels she has to be able to stand on her own before she jumps right back into another relationship.I just dont know how to handle the situation. My family has now finally told me that they have no problem with her and I being involved so our biggest obstacle, well the original obstacle is gone, and I feel like that if I wait too long or’leave her alon’ too much that what may be my last chance for us will be lost. She is everything to me. We share a bond like no other I have ever experienced in all my life.With any of my other relationships, no one has touched my heart or made me feel they way she does, when I am with her everything seems right, anything is possible and nothing can go bad, I know this has to sound crazy but thats how I feel. We were just sitting at a table holding hands and as I looked into her eyes I just wanted to melt. I could have cried I felt so good. When she smiles at me, looks at me in’that way’ and she knows me better than I know myslef. She almost seems to know what I am thinking, and can actually even know what I am going to say at times.My biggest problem is what to do now? How can I be around her without’pressuring her’ It seems like I must have some kind of contact. She claims to feel the same things I do just holding each other, makes her feel t he same way, If she gets the same feelings as intense as I do could that be scaring her? I mean if she is just coming out of a horrible relationship and claims to have a trusting problem, could it be some kind of fear that she would lose control or something like that? I dont know.Any ideas or thoughts? I cannot just turn and walk away from her I wont. I know I love her, we have always been able to talk about anything and usually can work out anything, except this. Is there anything I can do to’be there’ for her and not smother her to death? I feel like I have to walk a very fine line right now.. Too much and I push her away, Too little and she might drift away. Im driving myself crazy trying to figure this out. I know this is lengthy but I felt I must explain in depth, I have over ten years of emotion invlovled in her and I. We have been the best of friends to one another, lovers etc. I truly believe I could never find another that would make me feel the way she does, I have never in all of these years.Frantic