Yet another letter has arrived today, this one from a man who can understand why this happens to people:
Hi JaneJust found your blog “Consanguinamory” through a chain of links from a guy whose page I’ve “liked” on Facebook – Keith Pullman. You kind of invited people to contact you at the bottom of your “About me” page so I thought I’d drop you a line.I’m in my 50s now, married with a couple of kids, and although I don’t have any “relationships” with any close relatives, I do kind of understand why these things happen. You see I was born to a very young unmarried couple in the early 1960s and subsequently adopted by another older couple. Unlike a lot of people in my situation, I grew up knowing I was adopted, as my parents always told me from an early age that I had “grown up in another mummy’s tummy, but she couldn’t look after me so I was given up”. Never a problem for me. No sudden revelation with a birth certificate at the age of 18, or a slow creeping realisation that my parents weren’t my parents after all.Had a failed relationship in my early 20s resulting in a daughter, who ended up living with her mum and another man who her mum preferred to me, not because I was screwed up through being adopted (which honestly didn’t bother me and never has), but just because one of those things that happens to us sometimes.However one result of having a daughter was that people started saying things like “she looks like you”, which was something I’d never encountered before, as I had no real biological relatives. In the late 80s I began wondering about my biological parents, and whether it was possible to trace them. As it turned out it was pretty easy, and not only did I locate both my parents in a very short time (as they hadn’t moved away from the town they were living in when I was born), but they had actually married each-other a year after I was born. I cautiously contacted them, to get a very welcome letter back, along with photos and the news that not only did I have a nephew, an aunt, four uncles and several cousins, but I had two full brothers (one with the same name as me, ha ha).We all kept in contact and visited each-other several times each year. Then in the late 90s, a few years after I got married, we found that my daughter (who I was still paying maintenance for, and who was now 16) was pregnant and was moving in with the father. Relations between me and her mum had always been very difficult, and it had been made plain that I ought to keep my distance, but now that my daughter had moved out of her mum’s flat, I wrote to her to see if she would like us to meet up.Long story short, we did, and we’ve kept in good contact ever since. She’s still with her partner and I now have a granddaughter and two grandsons (one of which is a few months younger than my own son!). I’m also still in close contact with my biological family, although not as much now. Both my brothers have divorced, and my biological father died six years ago, and we just don’t seem to all meet up as much as we used to.I kind of view myself as a weird living experiment in nature vs nurture, because I’ve made contact with parents and brothers who I never grew up with, and a daughter who I only saw for the first 2 years of her life, and yet we all seem to get on as if we’ve know each-other for years. We all seem to think the same way, and have very similar tastes and beliefs, and the way we all interact is fascinating. My bilogical parents never saw me in the same way as they did their own sons, my brothers don’t view me in the same way as they view each-other. My daughter doesn’t really see me as a “dad” (although she does call me that). For my part I don’t see any of them in the “traditional” way that I ought to. And yet there is an incredible closeness between all of us, a comfortable-ness, an incredible familiarity. It’s as if the usual boundaries that we surround ourselves with when meeting new people just don’t exist; something about the way we are related makes them melt away on an unconscious level. Even though I was an only child and don’t know what it would be like to have siblings, I know on an instinctive level that if any of them needed help I would give that help unthinkingly.The other weird thing (which I notice and understand, but don’t really talk about, for fear of getting the wrong reaction – which I would!) is that not only are my birth mother’s features strikingly similar to the kind of woman I tend to find attractive, but that when I look at my daughter I can see in her the elements of her mother (my ex) that I found attractive. There was one particular time when my mother was looking through old photo albums, and there was some photos of her and my father just before I was born. I knew that my brothers were just looking at the photos and seeing pictures of their mum when she was young, but I of course didn’t see a “mum” (my “Mum” was my adopted mother and was by this time in her late 80s and living in Essex). I just saw a quite attractive young lady in a flouncy 1950s/60s dress!Luckily for me these are not overwhelmingly strong feelings, and I have no desire to act on any of these. Not because I find them abhorrant or disgusting, and not because I feel ashamed. But simply because I don’t find the feelings powerful. They’re just things I notice in myself, and I find them interesting and intriguing. I really wouldn’t mention them to anyone though, because it’s only my circumstances that make me understand, and most people wouldn’t. In a way I am thankful that I haven’t encountered GSA towards any of my biological relatives, because they do seem to make life complicated. It has occasionally occurred to me that for all I know my daughter and my mother may themselves have encountered similar feelings towards me in themselves. If they had, neither of them has ever mentioned it…but then of course neither have I…Anyway, just thought I’d let you know that in some small way I do have an understanding of how you feel. Feel free to reply if you want.All the very best[name removed]
Thank you for your letter, it’s nice to know that some people can understand other peoples feelings, there are far too many people in the world who can’t. As you’ve pointed out, the feelings are not strong for you as they are for some people, but they have given you an understanding of GSA that most people lack.
The closeness of the family bonds that exist, whether between reunited relatives, or just those who became unusually emotionally close, are the basis of consanguinamory. For instance, it wasn’t GSA with me and my dad, but we shared a very strong family bond and friendship that became something more, it wasn’t something either of us expected, it just happened and the feelings were overwhelming. GSA couples are also often overwhelmed by their feelings too, and this appears to be something unique to consanguinamory. It’s actually the double-love aspect, the love as family and love as lovers dynamic going on that makes it so unique.
Thanks very much for your letter, it is nice to hear from another understanding person.