We’re moving into our new (to us. It’s 24 years old with all original everything…I’ll post pictures soon!) house today and as I’m unpacking the kitchen Peyton stomps in in a huff. Right after him Dave (our friend who OFFERED to help us move, so, I guess probably the best dude in the world?) and Lance came in with the washer and dryer. I hear Peyton start to sob so I leave the guys and go after him. He’s crying. I ask him what was wrong and he said he didn’t want to talk about it. I gave him a hug and pried, “Was it Casey again?” Those two have been at each other’s throats for days. “No.” “Was it Carter?” No. “Was it Abby? Did she get you? Did she tackle you to the ground and tell you that you don’t read good?” Not even a smile. Big tears rolled down his face as he said, “Can I just be alone right now?” Sure, Peyton. I ruffled his hair and went to find out what was going on.
Turns out, Peyton was pretty sad about moving. But not in the way you would think…
Before they had packed up the dryer, Peyton climbed in it. Lance found him and told him to get out. He came back in a minute later and as he pulled on the dryer, he thought it was caught on something. Seeing that it was free, he opened it up. There again was Peyton. “Do you want me to ground you?! Get out of the dryer!” Peyton replied, “You can ground me.” He didn’t want to move…from the dryer…
Abby’s got a lot of Peyton in her, which scares the hell out of me. Today, when we went upstairs she had locked herself in a closet. Carter went to open the closet to rescue her and just as soon as he had slid it open she SLAMMED it shut again. Then went on to play alone in the dark closet.
Guess their just working through some stuff?
4 thoughts on “Peyton didn’t want to move…”
They will work through it. Change is hard, and it’ll take some time for them to adjust.
If you’re a visual autistic, change is that much harder because you’re moving into the unknown because it’s the visual maps that you miss the most. The familiar shape of the dent in the plaster, the smell of the house, the sound and FEEL of being in that dryer in that exact spot, knowing the friendly versus the non friendly shadows, the FEEL of the sun in the afternoon on the living room floor.
I remember the visual maps of all the apartments and houses that I’ve lived in since I was about four. Being mostly middle/upper poor class meant we had to move roughly every two years. The longest place I’ve lived in is this current house, which my mom moved into in December of 1997 (minus two years of college in Tallahassee and 8 years in Maryland). I have dyspraxia, which means my body doesn’t know where it is in space. Every time I move (or something gets moved), accidents happen because my visual map is thrown off. For me, the entire process of moving is dangerous. It’s also anxiety provoking because I don’t know where things are, things are constantly moving or being moved, and even the shadows are sinister. The fridge makes different sounds, water might be dripping, the toilets may gurggle, the floors may creak, et al. It’s not home unless the dryer is in that spot, the sun hits the floor there, and the plaster has that dent right there in the wall – it’s not home. It will eventually become home, but, for now, you brought them to a haunted house.
Telling stories about what they liked best about the old house and then make a game of finding new favorites about the new house. Talk to them about what you’re doing, where you’re putting things, and ask for their input. My mom mostly kept things in the same room, clustered together (the bookshelves are always,near the computer). This might help to reduce some of the anxiety. Keep the closets mostly uncluttered – they’re good places to decompress. Also, let them name the rooms. It’ll give them some control over the unfamiliar stuff. Here, all the rooms are known by their colors (thank god the Purple Room – my old bedroom turned storage et al. now houses Guinea pigs, otherwise I’d be in trouble when the time comes to paint it!).
Very good advice, thank you! This is actually my son that is not autistic, just very, very quirky. We love his quirks. We totally are working on a place for him and his autistic brother to decompress, that’s huge. I need it myself.
Precious ones…hope today is better.
Ooooh yes. Moving is so hard. For everyone.
I completely forgot, until just now from reading your post, that my brother and I each used to hang out in our respective closets, on occasion. Pull in a blanket, completely dark and close the door.
I’m tempted to try it again, right now.