For the Women who Fear they are too Broken to be Loved.


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Sometimes, I look at everyone else…married, with kids.

I look around at these happy couples surrounded by this warm, rosy glow, and I think that I’ll never have that. I’ll have other things, sure—but love? That feels impossible.

My thoughts spiral, a dark cloud permeates all around my body, and I feel this one thing that hurts so much:

I fear that I am too broken to be loved.

But, this is not truth. It is a multifaceted, bold-faced lie.

I am not too broken to be loved.

I am not too tender, too traumatized, too timid, too bold, too wild, too much like fire.

I am not too sensitive, too feeling, too soft, too undeserving, too hurt.

I am not too anything.

I sparkle just as I am, in grit and grace.

And, it’s not perfect…but there are ripe truths in me, in the very darkness I tried to seal away from everyone, including myself.

So no, I don’t believe I’m too broken to be loved—and I don’t believe that you are either.

I believe that someone hurt me, violated me, and broke my trust in ways that felt inexplicable and overwhelming beyond what any words could possibly describe.

I believe that trauma is a reality that touches so many of our lives…and nothing will ever make that suck less.

But, I am not broken. I am deliciously whole.

My pain is like licking the flames of hell, but it’s not forever—it’s not a final destination, but a small piece of an epic journey. And, I’ve chosen to make it art. I’ve decided to let it sculpt me into someone supple and wise.

I’ve seen the dark underbelly of this life, and bled, and lived to talk about it. I have risen with trembling lips to tell my story.

Because things like trauma and abuse—they don’t reflect anything that’s wrong with me. Or you.

They reflect what’s wrong in society.

Being traumatized, having anxiety, being afraid to walk alone at night, being silent and terrified, having panic attacks and PTSD, being afraid of men, struggling with mistrust—these things are not created in a vacuum.

They are natural responses to the pain of living in a patriarchy—to the terrors we have seen.

Society is faulty and f*cked up…not us.

We have survived. We have made poems from the pain and gritted our teeth through some damn dark times—and we are not diseased, or ugly, or wrong.

The culture is.

Rape culture—the fact that there could be such a thing—toxic masculinity that seeks power in low, devilish ways.

That’s what’s wrong: not me. Not you.

And, we can still rise, anyway.

So I rise, with this knowing imprinted in my chest, a soul-deep tattoo visible in the glistening pools of my eyes.

I rise from the ripeness of the shadows and mud.

I rise like a goddamn phoenix.

I burn, and combust, and—bam! 

I come back to life—it’s my spring, because I decide it is.

Fresh shoots of green roots flourish beneath my feet, the blooms are prolific magnolias—they crawl all the way up to my forehead. My skin is fragranced with lilacs, and truth, and fire, and hope.

And my story, it’s not special or rare; it’s terribly common.

So yes, you might have feel broken or shattered at the hands of someone else.

But, you are not broken.

You are deliciously whole—and you are certainly not too broken to be loved.

There is no such thing, my dear.

You are wise enough to understand the unspoken subtleties of love, to dive deeper, and to walk further than most would dare.

You took the blackness of poison and made it new and beautiful again.

You took the ache and made it into gold.

You aren’t broken, you’re a f*cking genius. You’re an alchemist. You’re a woman.

Rising is your superpower.

But, rising isn’t who you are either.

You get to be you.

Not a survivor, not a thriver.


You get to be all of that. All the complexity and simplicity that is.

Whole, wild, uncertain, deep, feminine, soft, curvy, loud, sweet, sexy, creative, vulnerable, passionate, strong, smart, vulnerable, playful, determined, fierce, curious…all those things at the same time.

And, it’s not too much.

It’s incredibly enough.

It’s beautiful.

And I know, it can feel so hard to heal from something that others deny—and I’m sorry you had to go through this.

I believe you. I see the pain in your eyes, because I know it as my own.

But, I will look back at your gorgeous tear-stained face and say this:

You are lovable.

You are whole.

I love you.

We will heal together.

Because resilience is threaded in our bones. Because healing is what we do. Because transformation is encoded in our DNA. Because there is always hope in the tangerine-soaked sunrise of each new day. Because we are women made of fire, surrounded by the whispers of flowers and wolves. Because we are the molten, ruby lips of creativity herself. Because we are not our wounds. Because we can come out of this, even better.

Because spring always comes…and it’s breathtaking.

We are lovable.

And no one can ever take that from us.

Not ever.

Maybe they tried, but they failed.

And so…we rise.



In the Flames of her Anger, She was Reborn.


Author: Sarah Harvey
Image: WikiMedia Commons
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Catherine Monkman


The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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Total Ecosystem Rating 7.7
36 Do you love this article? Show the author your support by hearting.

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Sarah Harvey

Sarah Harvey resides in the mysterious mountains of western North Carolina. Through the journey of healing her own trauma and pain, she has found power in poetic expression, art, and dance. She loves supporting people to step into their power, find their voices, and flourish. She believes in resilience. She believes that sometimes, our darkest days lead to the most unexpected, breathless joy. She currently offers life coaching sessions and is pursuing her Masters in Counseling. She feels most passionate about supporting those healing from trauma with a creative, heartfelt, and gentle approach.  Follow Sarah on Facebook and her website!

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Teresa Ewa Elzbieta Gomulczak Nov 18, 2018 8:56am

Beautiful and totally resonates thank you 💜

Jemma Souleyman Nov 14, 2018 6:59pm

Simply amazing x

Jo Hay Jul 21, 2018 9:09am

Fucking bravo👏 👏 👏.. Encore 💜

Karla Smith Feb 24, 2018 5:31am

Thank you for this beautiful piece of inspiration, hope, truth, and encouragement! 💗

May Wagner Feb 18, 2018 6:38pm

I will be saving this to re-read on hard days like today. My dad told me just a couple days ago that I was broken.. he said it in a sarcastic, humorous tone, but I felt it much deeper, because I often wonder if I am. I KNOW that I am not... I know that I am strong, independent and resilient. I know that I can be loved, and deserve to be, I only need to allow myself to be.

Marilyn Regan Feb 15, 2018 3:45am

There's nothing like the truth, powerfully and poignantly expressed. We are not victims. We are victorious survivors turned masters, forged by fire. Thank you for sharing.

Jennifer Evangelista Feb 14, 2018 1:44pm

This is the first article I've read here that has literally brought me to tears. Thank you for this. Your words are beautifully inspiring, compassionate and so relatable. Thank you.