First of all, at 24, there is still so much opportunity out there to find love. You'll never be able to find a new love if you can't let go of the love you had with her. It will never happen. You have some grown up decisions to make here, and they won't be easy. Welcome to being an adult!
You have a choice here.
If you truly love her and want to be with her, child and all, you need to just take the chance. Getting into a relationship is about risks and there is never a guarantee of a return. You have to decide to either jump or walk away. Let go of the dream you had because it will never be. This is what's causing you to not be able to let go also. Life rarely turns out like we plan.
If you can't fully love her AND the child, then don't get involved. It isn't fair to her or the child. And don't discount years spent growing and learning lessons in life and love. I'm sure you had a lot of growing that took place during that time that made you more mature and wise. Maybe she wasn't in the right place at the time to be with you and life has brought her to a place where she can be a great partner for you. Maybe you two were never meant to be together. Just because we love someone doesn't mean they are right for us or that a relationship can work. You can love someone and not be with them. Love doesn't mean you have to be together.
Bottom line, give up the ghost. If you want her truly, talk to her about your concerns, and see if you can move forward to start something new, not restart the old. If you can't fully embrace her or the child, or give up the ghost of what you thought once was, then you're not in the right place and need to move on. You need to fully cut her out of your life, no talking, texting, defriend and block her on facebook; completely cut off all ways to reach her so that you can fully detach and get over her.
Only you can decide if getting involved is worth the risk. Don't get in with your tiptoes but jump all the way in. But I guarantee, the risk isn't any more than it would be by getting involved with someone else. But by hanging onto the ghost of a dream, you're missing reality and probably some really nice girls. There are lots of great girls out there you could have a happy life with.
"our real blessings often appear to us in the shapes of pain, losses and disappointments"-Joseph Addison.
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