Dear Dr. NerdLove:
I have been with my same-sex partner for seven and a half years now (we are two women), two and a half of which have been long distance due to job obligations. The distance has been really hard, and I have found myself in a couple of blackout drunk situations in which I did regrettable things. I am usually able to control myself when I drink, but very rarely I get blackouts. I’m not sure if it’s to do with the type of medication that I take mixed with it, or if it’s genetic or what.
The most recent situation is the one I’m having a lot of trouble with. I have been trying to make more friends in the gay girl scene, and I met one girl who I 100% was only interested in friendship with. And I told her that I was only seeking friendship from other women. We hung out a few times, and on the last hang out we were at her place. I again got blackout drunk, and the next thing I remember is waking up in her bed with no memory of what happened (a couple of flashes but nothing else). I am completely repulsed by this because a) I am in a relationship and love my girlfriend with everything I am, and b) I have zero attraction to this girl.
I freaked out and told my girlfriend that I needed a break / some space because I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t tell her what happened because I know it would absolutely crush her and I swear I would not have ever done this if I was sober. I want to stay with her and I have even had suicidal thoughts because I just can’t deal with this. I know alcohol is not an excuse, I just can’t make sense of why it happened. I am so disgusted! Even though I remember almost nothing, I feel as though this person, although really nice, took advantage of me / coerced me, and I feel so much anger toward her for that. And even if that is true, why did I seemingly become an active participant? She was quite drunk too, but I don’t believe she was blackout drunk. I have cut off all communication with her, even though a friendship could have been had this situation not happened. I want nothing to do with her.
My girlfriend was initially extremely upset that I ended things / asked for a break. But then we saw each other one weekend and we kind of just melted back together to the way things were before. But every time I look at her, every time she compliments me, every time she calls me a good person, all I can think of is what I did and I absolutely hate myself for it and would do anything to turn back time.
I have started seeing a therapist, but it isn’t doing much yet. The guilt is eating me alive, but I feel that if I were to tell my girlfriend she would leave me in an instant (she is extremely insecure) and that would be even more excruciating. We go so well together and have a blast together, and are genuinely just the best of friends. I have been planning to move to her city eventually, there is a company that has expressed interest in hiring me, I am just working on strengthening my portfolio before switching jobs.
I am driving myself crazy reading all the articles and forums online about blackout drunk cheating. I honestly can’t make sense of any of this and I am hating myself and beating myself up about this. I don’t know how I will ever move on from this. It consumes my thoughts day and night. First thing that comes to my mind each morning when I wake is, “You are a cheater You are a horrible person. She did not deserve this. You don’t deserve her.” I already suffer from severe depression and anxiety due to my mom passing away last year and my best friend committing suicide.
I can’t handle this. Please help. Thank you very much.
Barely Holding On