Run with us.

Does anyone remember The Raccoons cartoon show? At the end of the program they always played the most beautiful theme music. Here’s the YouTube link, complete with a video. To the best of my knowledge, these lyrics are © Lisa Lougheed.

When darkness falls,
Leaving shadows in the night,
Don’t be afraid,
Wipe that fear from your eyes.
The desperate love,
Keeps on driving you wrong,
Don’t be afraid,
You’re not alone.

You can run with us,
We’ve got everything you need,
Run with us,
We are free.
Come with us,
I see passion in your eyes,
Run with us.

When the cold wind blows,
Turn your cover to the cold,
Don’t be ashamed
If you need someone to hold.
If you’re sinking in quicksand,
And it’s dragging you down,
And you feel you’re going under,
We’ll be around.

You can run with us,
We’ve got everything you need,
Run with us,
We are free.
Come with us,
I see passion in your eyes,
Run with us.

And you’re behind closed doors,
All alone by yourself,
And you’re longing inside,
To be somebody else.
You pick up the telephone,
And there’s no one on the line,
Don’t be afraid,
‘Cause there’s still time.

You can run with us,
We’ve got everything you need,
Run with us,
We are free.
Come with us,
I see passion in your eyes,
Run with us.
You can run with us,
We’ve got everything you need,
Run with us,
We are free.
Come with us,
I see passion in your eyes,
Run with us.
Run with us.

It was my favorite part of the show.

I just heard back from my former employers at the reading center. They don’t want me to work for them anymore. I’d written them a forthright letter about my mental health issues and what I’ve done to overcome them. I didn’t feel like BSing them, because they’ve always known I’m mentally ill. They can see into my soul, which is weird, given how shallow and surface-oriented they are.

Maybe the reality that they see inside of me scares them. I’m not sure. That happened with my campus therapist once. I went back to see her again around seven years after I graduated college. She let me come in for a free consultation, and I filled her in on my life, and she got this panicked look like she’d taken a turn in a bad part of town. She wound up mumbling that she couldn’t help me because she was unfamiliar with any resources within the community. Which made no sense, because I didn’t want resources. (I’m not huge on community involvement, for one thing.) I wanted counseling/therapy. But the point is that she was afraid of what I told her, like she was thanking God it hadn’t happened to her. And hearing people’s problems was her chosen career!

Is this a blow to me or to my mental illness? It’s not my fault that I’m schizophrenic. Surely, on some level, I believe that. Anyway, for whatever bizarre reason, hearing back from my former employers suddenly made me remember The Raccoons and how much I loved the closing-credits theme music. It was one of the first pieces of music that I played by ear at the piano.

I just love the lyrics. It’s like, we’re here for you. We like you. Come with us and be one of us. You belong. You’re elite enough to live among us. A more modern version might be “Heathens” by Twenty-One Pilots.

Maybe my former employer’s right about me. To get technical, I’ve never found a way to survive my schizophrenia in the workplace. People’s faces–like the faces of my coworkers–scare me. Someone can be smiling at me, and I’ll sense a certain level of forced friendliness, but behind it I see a blank page with nothing written on it. Emptiness. Like there’s no soul occupying my coworker. Or, if there is, the coworker feels the need to keep it so deeply hidden that it may as well not exist at all. Like, I’ve got this tiny piece of soul within me, but I’m ashamed of it, so I’m going to hide it clutched between my big toe and my second toe, where no one will ever want to look.

These have been my lost deep thoughts.

And then I try to accept that it’s okay for people at work to be soulless, and I just try to do my job and ignore the soullessness, but it eats at me, and a certain level of fear winds up plastered on my face despite my best efforts at hiding it. I try to tell myself that being around soulless people isn’t scary, or that it shouldn’t be; but to no avail. It scares me. And then it sort of follows me home.

I guess I can’t associate with people like that, even though the perception’s all in my head (I assume).

So I’m just sitting here listening to that song. Run with us, we’ve got everything you need. Run with us, we are free. Come with us, I see passion in your eyes. Run with us. 

My former employer’s response was very nice and friendly, but she thinks I’m a freakshow. That shouldn’t surprise me. She’s always felt that way about me. It’s so obvious. Why’d I think things would be any different if I just owned it? Not that I have any regrets. I had nothing to lose.

I went back to the company’s website and looked at the faces of my coworkers, and I felt it again: that fear that they’re soulless and that if I were to look too closely inside of them, I’d reach a barren wasteland of inner emptiness. Does that even make sense?! It’s perceptive. I can’t exactly alter it. But I guess it means I can’t handle going back to work.

So I’m stuck here with all this compassion for kids and no way to express it. Perfect. It’s like a curse. I feel that my life is essentially wasted if I’m not giving of myself in one of the few ways I can: teaching reading (or otherwise helping kids). That’s what the music’s telling me, at any rate. I have no idea why I’m returning to childhood television and music to console myself. It makes sense in my head.

I feel like an idiot. I’m not sure why.

You know, there’s something similar about my former employers and my campus counselor. They both exist in a world where everything’s under control and everything’s clearcut. Nice, safe, stable, predictable. But then I come along and threaten to shake it all up with my haphazard, unpredictable reality, and they reject me because they’re afraid to step off the sidewalk and run like a maniac into the woods. I guess I don’t have room for people like that in my life. To be in Meg World, you have to be willing to go deep. Very, very deep. And everyone who I count as a friend has gone deep with me and probably will again one day, and I’d always be glad to go deep with them. It’s what I do, and it’s who I am. I reside in the scary places, and I rainbowfy them.

A note to everyone whose blogs I follow: I’ve been braindead from writing my 3-day novella, but getting caught up on your blog posts is on my agenda!! Don’t despair!

2 thoughts on “Run with us.

  1. What about virtual tutoring? I was just taking a look at volunteermatch.org and it looks like there are opportunities with a few different organizations. It could be a way to help kids without having to deal with unpleasant adults.

    As for the counsellor, any counsellor has a professional obligation to redirect clients they don’t have the skill set to treat. Not all counsellors have much knowledge or experience in dealing with psychotic illnesses. It would be like if you went to see a counsellor for help with trauma, but they didn’t have any specialty training in treating trauma, they should be telling you that they’re not a good fit to treat you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you!! That’s very insightful on both points!!

    Well, actually, my former employers have already gone virtual themselves due to the coronavirus. Their employees are now working from home at computers. That would’ve been nice! (I think.) But I do like your other ideas! I’m going to turn some other possibilities over now that my old job is off the table!

    I see what you mean about the counselor, but it was a shock to my system because I’d seen her for my five years in college, and she seriously looked genuinely scared by what I was telling her. But I agree with what you mean about my problems being out of her experience level. Come to think of it, there probably aren’t all that many psychotic college students.

    Like

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