Day #364 – Forgiveness, and Freedom

Let the little boy live again...
Let the little boy live again…and smile!


April 14, 2013

Tomorrow, I will have been clean for 365 days. This is the longest time I have been off drugs, and every successive day is a new record in clean time.

No one event resulted in my addiction. Rather, it was a series of events, much like that show ‘Seconds From Disaster’, that conspired to leave me in a chemical haze, leading a double life, numb, but faking happiness and smiles, for 18 years.

But one event has struck me down, kept me in the addiction, for all those years, though I didn’t realise it: I was raped. I was violated – by the man I loved, and a friend of his.

That night, as a young, fresh-out-the-closet gay man, I was initiated into the cold, brutal reality of real life, and it took me 18 years to be able to say the words “I was raped”. During those years, I killed all emotion, shame, and guilt, all sadness, pain and anger, with as many drugs as I could afford. But I could never kill the memory, could never wipe it out, and make it un-happen.

Oh, the years weren’t all bad. I could go for whole months without actively thinking about that, and in those months, the drugs were fun, and I partied, and partied hard. But all that time, I was not living, I was just pushing down all the emotions, in the hopes they would dissolve.

They did not. They just dammed up, until I was busy doing my step 5 of the Narcotics Anonymous programme, when that dam burst.

It released so much anger, and hatred, and an overwhelming sense of vengeance, it threatened to consume me…but then I realised it HAD been consuming me, subconsciously, for all those years. The actions of ONE night rolled out their impact over 18 years. And THAT thought made me even angrier…to think I had chosen to live with that pain, and that burden, for all that time.

The weeks that followed are a blur of powerful emotions, and raw, reactive vulnerability – but through careful guidance by the friends and family who have supported me on this journey, and through the wisdom and counselling of my sponsor, tonight, I faced down my ex, in an email, and I took him through the horror of that night – how it happened, for me, and how violated I felt. I took him to the edge of my emotional state that night, and all the subsequent years since, and then, I gave him that most precious gift I had denied myself all those years: forgiveness. Forgiveness, and the wish that he will find the serenity I have found in this past year.

I am finally free of that burden, one I carried by choice, and now, by choice, I can start to live…

© Dave Luis 2013. All Rights Reserved.


  1. You know what, it takes such a strong person to admit this to yourself, let alone the world… Much respect for that Dave, to not hiding behind the curtain and also for not cold and angrily putting out the event. This post was done with such style, the freedom shines through and for this we all are soo proud of you. Of letting go of the difficult past and looking to the future free of burdens long carried.

    Congratulations on your first birthday, we shall celebrate this correctly and funly month-end. Go free and go awesome, embracing this new awesome life full of emotion and the normal life stuff and facing it not hiding behind the haze

    Love you bud,

    Your no1 fan

    1. Thank you Ryan! Such love and respect for your words! For so many years, even though I could never use the word ‘rape’, but only talk instead about the infidelity, I poured such hatred and venom into the world about it, about him. It poisoned me, made me sick, made me able to live in drugs alone. The gift of forgiveness is twofold – it frees him from my hatred, and myself from this history.

  2. Deep stuff Dave. I’m very glad you are finally able to unburden yourself of that weight. Let the beautiful little boy in the picture smile again.

    1. Thanks Greig, He’s coming out to play, I have his back now. It’s been quite a ride so far. It can only get better with the honesty and the reality I am dealing with!

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