I’m not 100% sure what kind of “mad” Solange was referring to in the song or even the “it” she was referring to in Cranes in the Sky. I’m not sure if she was talking about the kind of mad that comes with being born black in America, the kind that comes with being born a woman in America, or the kind that comes with being black, a woman, and dealing with the other shit that life throws at you on top of it. I don’t know because I didn’t write it and this isn’t an album review. I’m not here to dissect A Seat at the Table or even try to figure out what Solange is mad about. How can I when it took her making a whole album for me to even realize that I’m mad too?
My kind of mad comes from being black, a woman, and dealing with the other shit that life throws at you on top of it but I won’t use this post to treat you like a therapist. Heartache lies beneath the color of my skin and what sits between my legs. I’ve literally been living with a heart that hasn’t been whole since before my age hit double digits. Now I’m trying to figure out how I’ve lived this long or made it this far. Nothing ever re-breaks my heart though, I’m just always reminded that it’s broken whenever I get too comfortable. The person who started this cycle of heartache was my dad but my mom was the one who continued what he started by telling me he loved me. I wish she would have said, “your dad loves you BUT he doesn’t know how to show it and this isn’t how love is supposed to go.” But all she said was, “your dad loves you” whenever she was trying to comfort me after every disappointment. As a result, I grew up dating guys who I had to convince myself “loved me” until I was old enough to comfort myself with my own lie: they just “don’t know how to show it.” They’re all just like Dad. I feel like I’ve been searching for what love is my entire life. Have you ever met a lover who was denied her right to true love just because no one ever taught her how it worked? If nothing else, that alone gives me a lot to be mad about.
A Seat at the Table is probably the only successful therapy session I’ve had. I’ve never been much of a talker so it helped to have someone else do the talking for me without leaving out any of my feelings or thoughts. It helps to know that you aren’t the only one in your world and there’s someone else who feels the same way but had the courage to pave the way for you until you found the courage to begin your own healing process. It helps to have someone be your voice when you can’t find the right words without feeling misunderstood or sounding needy, “crazy,” damaged, etc. Everything that Solange said she did to make “it” go away was everything I did during my first year of college. I tried to drink it away. I tried to put one in the air. I tried to dance it away. I tried to change it with my hair. I thought a new dress would make it better. I tried to work it away but everything just made me feel sadder. I graduated with honors because getting A’s kept me busy. I slept it away and the only reason I probably didn’t sex it away was because it made me too antisocial to even want to meet or be around people. I traveled a lot because I thought it’d make me feel better. I tried to let go of my lover, thought if I was alone then maybe I could recover. I literally did everything Solange did and here I am, writing about how mad I still am.
I shared in one of my posts that I tried therapy once and it magnified all of the things I’ve ever ignored, even the shit that I didn’t even know I was ignoring until I was sitting across from a therapist. So I ran from it. I wasn’t ready to heal because healing is not easy. Healing sometimes requires you to be in a good space mentally, emotionally, and spiritually before you can begin the process and back then, I was anything but in a good space. I’m a very spiritual person though so I do believe that God is the reason I survived death twice – the tragedy itself that tried to kill me and the misery that followed that almost did the same thing. Solange reminded me that I am mad as hell and sad as hell. I had gotten so used to it that they became permanent feelings. I had gotten so used to being mad but happy sometimes when I’m supposed to be happy but mad sometimes and although I have every right to be, one day I will have to try again. Whether you’re the kind of mad that comes with being born black, being born a woman, or being born a black woman and dealing with the other shit life throws at you on top of it, A Seat at the Table warns us that our pain will get in the way if we don’t let it go.
Thanks for reading!