He misses out on so much, so much of the teenage life. You can only experience so much when you spend so much time isolated. What highlights the isolation is that since March 2020 he has spent some time with only ONE friend in that time – his only contact with someone his own age. Yes a really good friend but that’s a shed load of teenage socialising missed out on. It’s not the same but when a chance to do something special for him presents itself then you grab it, regardless of the difficulties.
The alarm went off before 5am.
300 miles of driving later, two traffic jams and we park up in Cardiff.
Trying frustratingly to find facilities that weren’t too busy and that could be used without causing too much stress.
Trying to take in a bit of the history of the Capital of Wales while avoiding the crowds.
Watching the anxiety levels rise as we join the long queues to get into a huge stadium.
But then the goal. The whole point of this. Getting the wrestling mad Hawklad into the UK’s first major Wrestling Televised Live Event in 30 years, along with 62000 other crazy fans. Was I so underdressed in a grey T-shirt and Jeans…. With much trying I had obtained 2 tickets at the back but crucially in an area with some space around us. Then for 4 hours Hawklad could be part of something, experiencing something different, something exciting. A brief breakout from the isolation
Then it was over, 300 mile night driving and almost 24 hours later we arrived back home. Wow I was tired. Yes it was difficult. Yes the trip highlighted many issues that create roadblocks to eventually easing the isolation and maybe returning him to a classroom. But Hawklad did some of that exciting living and that is all that mattered.
It was actually enshrined in common lawn 1628 and basically means ‘a persons home is their refuge’. Over the years it has often been cited by the right wing as justification for the principle ‘I can do whatever I like in my own castle, that includes stuff like smacking kids, shutting down public rights of way, hunting animals, mistreating people and using whatever weapons I like to defend it’.
I’m against all those activities but the law does have its advantages. I can take on the right wing interpretation and use it to say – STUFF YOU BORIS – inside my castle your stupidity, oversized ego and corrupt government can’t touch me – I’m just going to ignore ‘YA GREAT BIG PUDDING’.
In my castle I also can get away with wearing lime green compression socks and pink shirts. It’s my right…. Nowt the law can do about it.
And the other thing about a ‘home is a castle’ is that some castles are bigger than others. Much bigger…. Some are even big enough to be used as Harry Potters school in the movies.
But there is another positive element to the castle home idea. Because of circumstances many people need those castle walls. The feeling of safety which comes from pulling up the drawbridge and being inside your own space. That certainly applies to my Hawklad with his Aspergers.
So here’s to everyone’s very own castles, whatever size and shape they may be.
Sheriff Hutton Castle is over 850 years old and was built during the reign of King Stephen. Later Richard III acquired the castle through marriage. He made the castle one of the two sites for his Council of the North. The Council was his method of running the North after he became King of England. It has since fallen into ruin. It’s recently been sold for just over £1Million. It is our local castle.
Seven years ago we nearly bought a house which backed onto this castle. The castle was only 30 paces from the garden. An epic garden view. It was at a time when we we’re going to try for a second child. So we needed a house with an extra bedroom. This house ticked so many boxes. To me being so close to a castle seemed so exciting. However in the end we didn’t buy the house and sadly my partners health soon ruled out another member of our family. Every time I pass the castle my mind wanders off to what might have been.
There where a few reasons why we didn’t move here. One of the main reasons was our son. At that time a carefree, gregarious toddler had quickly transitioned into the world of Aspergers. Suddenly his world was populated with doctors, psychologists and other health professionals. It must have been so scary and disorientating for him. The one place he felt safe was our little bungalow on the hill. The bungalow was all things to him.
His Panic Room
His Safety Zone
His Dream World
An Exclusion Zone for the many who looked at him differently because of one word
His Play Zone
It was the only place he felt comfortable and relaxed. From our experience Aspergers seemed to loosen and destroy all of our sons life foundations. Life became precarious and the slightest disturbance could bring everything crashing down. His little bungalow was one of the few things which was still secure and stable. The last thing he needed was for that to be torn down as well. So we decided to stay.
We are still here in that little bungalow on the hill. It’s still such a safety net for our son. A place he feels secure and at ease in. It still excludes those who discriminate. The garden fences mark the boundaries to his world. His ramparts. In a way it is his very own modern castle.