Castle on the hill – Ed Sheeran
I have been homesick, terribly so.
(For younger days).
And in being homesick, I have found things that take me back home that aren’t an aeroplane or a train.
This song transports me in a way that only music can, to a place I miss with an ache in my heart.
Castle on the hill made me cry in the shower, (with it on repeat).
Its such a feeling to listen to this song, it reminds me of my first days of freedom, in the summer of 2009.
I moved out on the 16.03.09, and lived in a partners house with their family for a couple of months, then with my best friend and her family that have always resembled the Weasleys for me. (Both in size, behaviours, the fact they are all red heads and somehow this kind of makes me Harry Potter in this situation – even though I would much prefer to be Hermione tbh).
Before the summer came, I was a mess.
I lost my entire family.
Siblings I had raised in lieu of my mother didn’t speak to me.
My brother outright rejected me.
Everything that made up my life changed.
All I had to push me forward was finishing college and getting into University.
(Doing this while living in a room for an 8 year old, in a tiny bed, in a different dysfunctional family wasn’t easy).
I look back at that time now and see how easy it is to spot my emotional distress and blatant depression.
I am kind of grateful I never went on medication though.
I have friends who have lost years and years of their lives trying to survive enough to get off them.
The short story is about the people I lived with. There were 4 siblings, one of them was a young girl, she was sweet and acted like I could be her big sister.
The three others were boys, in varying stages of teenage angst and obliviousness, often unwilling to help.
There was the mother.
And the father, who lived in Bristol most of the time, and came down for a weekend every once in a while (every 3rd week? I don’t remember) The mother went up every weekend it seemed, with the girl. I remember thinking how strange it was.
The father apparently couldn’t find a job down here.
The mother was jealous of the time he was spending with ‘their’ friends, she mentioned him sleeping over at a female friends house over and over again.
I was too young to realise that this is what some relationships look like.
She told me she needed me to move out, because it was my fault that everything in her life was going wrong.
(I had been pretty much silent since moving in, not even allowed to unpack the suitcase I was living in, and had been cooking, cleaning, buying groceries and trying to remain as invisible as possible.)
Even in my state I could tell that I wasn’t the problem here.
So I moved in with a friend, nearby, on a farm in the middle of nowhere. The Weasleys indeed.
It was better and it was worse, the family were so kind and lovely and I will forever be indebted to them for everything they did for me that summer. But to watch, on the sidelines, of a family filled with love, care, and healthy relationships was a knife in my chest after leaving my family who operated on none of those things.
Listening to castle on the hill reminds me of the obsessive way we listened to Ed Sheerans first cd, in that little room with my best friend.
Of long summer days as I climbed out of my unhappiness and began to smile more.
I was in no way fully healed, but the sun was out and I allowed myself to drink sambucca and wkd, dancing in the only club my small town had.
Walking back on country lanes, the sky full of stars, seeming close enough to touch.
We went camping at the edge of the world, on the side of a cliff, above the sea, in our teenage minds recklessly drinking and playing I-have-never in dubious weather.
I remember pretending hard enough that for brief, beautiful moments I felt like I was the same as the incredible friends surrounding me.
Just young and wild and free.