An ode to those that broke us


I remarked the other day to some of my friends that we had to take a moment and toast all the men who had walked into our lives, walked all over us, trampled upon our hearts and then walked out on us.

I said each one of them had forced us to seek solace in our work, in the dreams we pursued and in the aspirations that we once might have chosen to forfeit.


If you’ve ever had someone rip out your heart, tear out your guts, shred your confidence and make you feel like you were walking around with excrement stuffed in your bra – then you are a good candidate for dream chasing.

Dream chasers are people whose dreams are better than the reality of their lives.

The harder your life is, the more susceptible you are to being a dreamer – fantasizing about how your life could be different and what you could do to make it so.

And sometimes we have idyllic childhoods, perfect family backgrounds and wonderful educational opportunities but then we end up falling in love with the wrong person.

And the wrong person is not necessarily some heartless devil but sometimes it is someone who is too selfish to give you up even when they know they cannot reciprocate the love you feel for them.

Someone once said that we are never as defenceless against suffering as when we love.

When you love someone you can’t defend yourself from them – you are entirely at their mercy. The tragedy is that too many people have little mercy to spare.

Show some mercy.

We often can’t help who we love and oftentimes it is hard to even explain why we love that particular person when there are perhaps other ‘better’ candidates who want to avail themselves to us.

The most fragile person is a person who’s in love and the strongest person alive is the person who’s loved – who holds in their palm the precious heart of another.

And the most dangerous person in the world is the one who knows they are loved but doesn’t give a damn about it.

When we love we are defenceless against suffering at the hands of the person upon whom we have bestowed our affections.

And one of the coping mechanisms of broken-hearted people, is to redirect their focus to other things that they have some semblance of control over – things they can exert their will upon.

Confronted with the merciless pain inflicted by someone that doesn’t love you anymore or that never loved you at all and finding yourself incapable of extricating your heart from them – you pour yourself into something else that can distract you.

And for some of the women I know, and myself as well – career and school and our talents and our ambitions and our dreams have afforded us the opportunity to rise again and move past the hurts we’ve suffered.

Career advancement, academic triumph, opportunities to travel and exploit our potential and talents may not undo the damage caused but they have inevitably made the pain count for something.

If indeed we had to suffer, then at least the product of that suffering should become something that will matter to us long after our wounds have healed.

So I said to some of my friends – as they celebrated the attainment of new milestones in their careers, in their academic pursuits and in opportunities to travel and explore the world – let’s pause and drink to the men whose cruelties pushed us to our limits, forced us out of our comfort zones and brought us face to face with our own raw potential.

Let’s say an ode to those who broke us because in picking up the pieces – we were able to build something meaningful out of the emotional devastation of loving the wrong person at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.

16 thoughts on “An ode to those that broke us

  1. Stash says:

    This is just so poignant my dear friend. If only it was simple to unlove certain people right? But isn’t it Shakespeare who said Tis’ better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all? All the Judases that enter and exit our lives sometimes have a very necessary and important role. Kinda gets you thinking also, why this human nature to pretend to love someone one doesn’t give a toss about. or maybe some people have their own warped ways of showing love..

  2. Indeed, all things can work together for good, even if they had been meant for harm…

  3. VIMBAI says:

    I am a young woman who has been broken. It happened in a way that I will never forget for the rest of my life, and like you said it has made me strong, I am pursuing my education and a whole lot of other things. The pain I went through and still do kicked me in the right direction and my future is so bright it burns my eyes.

  4. I hesitated at first when I read a bit of the blog but since you always write stuff that resonates with me, i read on and am I glad i did! imma drink to all the players, the heartbreakers, the jerks, the no-do-gooders, imma drink even to those hwindis who have tried catwhistling me down the rank lolest. when you see me drunk, don’t ask….. lolest, thank you for this one, Dee. These guys have certainly stoked a fire up our derriers, we can’t sit still, we just have to succeed

  5. One of those pieces you read and feel like writing a general apology on behalf of all the men on earth – but then you remember the brother who was also heartbroken into working hard on his dreams, he is even celibate, but equally yoked with the men – you wonder, why do we always gender-ise these things?

  6. Franka says:

    there was tears in my eyes when reading it. I guess i have been broken before and that actually made me strong enough to pursue my dreams with such vigor that sometimes it scares me. Iam more cautious now.

  7. MPC says:

    Wow! I thought I was the only one who was moved to tears by this. I usually resist the urge to comment on blogs as I feel it can be a bit intrusive to do so…. Bloggers put themselves out there and who am I to comment? But this piece that a friend of mine shared with me moved me. It’s as if you have been watching my life unfold. It felt like home. Thanks.

  8. Phineas says:

    Touching indeed. Well, life will never be fair and unless one realises this, they will never rise and will be haunted by their past to their distruction but thanks to people like you. Thanks for the encouragement to us all even if this was meant for the ladies. Keep writing, you are making a big difference in our lives. May God bless you.

  9. ladystature says:

    When I was reading this I just thought that this also applies to those with daddy issues. The effect is the same.

  10. Mirara III says:

    As usual Delta, a good read, a knack indeed for opening the gates of your heart, and gently guiding the flow your thoughts and feelings. A gentle remainder though, that the lions do not always roar and flash their manes, attacking and conquering. You cannot have a monopoly over pain, over being heart broken and over being let down, that is a free market commodity. Allow me to modify your toast in retrospect, to include all those who have hurt their significant others. Granted as a feminist, you are looking out for your own, which is okay, but never sink too deep in your calling that you forget the brothers that also yearn to raise their glasses for sisters who have ravaged their heart… A toast to the nasty sisters who consented to being snatched from right under our noses. Another glass to the pretty girls who never cared a tad to give us well-meaning brothers the time of day, raising even higher to all the blonde babes who think men’s hearts are made of steel and cannot be broken…

  11. seethroughmymask says:

    I have a new found motivation after the heartbreak that I am in currently swimming in. Maybe it’s part of a defense mechanism to through myself into anything that will take away the pain. But it’s important to grow and move forward and create happiness within myself and what I can create.

  12. Snini says:

    Well i guess m the weird one here lol,kinda saw this in a different way.To me people who have made me wanna be a dream chaser are not just men i loved but the family and friends who have hurt me more than my enemies.The very people that one is supposed to wholly lean on and trust ,abuse and walk all over our emotions as if they were nothing!!So CHEERS to all those who hurt us but make us stronger and better people in the society!!

  13. u cldnt hve said it any better….though some of us always stand ashamed of our very on who chose to take women for granted…its so heartbreaking how a lot of women remain victims in doings done in selfishness…

  14. bloggomobi says:

    Reblogged this on BLOGGO and commented:
    One of the most powerful female voices. I loved this post when l first read it months ago. When l read it again today l thought it deserved a hand clap, a standing ovation.

  15. Reblogged this on vimbaimandiri and commented:
    This blog-post I never forgot. I have read more than once. I flagged it in my outlook so I would keep reading it. And today I reblog it. Thanks Delta for many of your often personal narratives, but thank you especially for this one.

  16. Amazingly candid and well said !!! You words ring true for everyone who has walked down this difficult path on the journey to love !! Encouraging and inspiring !

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