Kris’ Corner – An Update on Moving With A Child From Hard Places

December 8, 2022

So in the interest of full disclosure, I wanted to share an update on how things are going following our move.

But before I tell you that, I need to tell you this: So in addition to having lots and lots (and lots) of cleaning and painting to do, we’ve had several other repairs/modifications done to the place (ie a door put in the main bathroom where there was no door previously…what in the world, right?!?; unexpected flooring ripped out in three rooms…and then replaced; ceiling fans installed; chimney repaired; furnace and ducts cleaned…and on and on)

Which that has meant a definite lack of homeschool routine…and we love a nice routine. I’m certain many of you (both living and not living with trauma) can relate.

And part of this scenario has meant many people (some of whom my son knew previously and some he did not) in and out of the house to help with cleaning, painting and repairs.

Additionally there were some extraneous circumstances which can be triggering in and of themselves… a couple family birthdays (and I don’t know about your experience but ANY birthday is triggering for my son…not just his own birthday.) And then we had Thanksgiving.

Now Christmas is rapidly coming for us, which will also bring lots of shifts in routines, expectations, etc…as well as the onslaught of heightened excitement, sugar and just all the things.

It’s just a lot.

Plus…both our older boys were home from college for Thanksgiving, then they returned to school…and will be home again soon for almost a month…which is wonderful (they really do all love each other and generally get along as well as siblings can). But also the back and forth of their schedules live in the camp of “another change/loss” which, as you probably know, trauma doesn’t always deal well with.

So all this has been happening (and yes, it does sound like a lot of excuses, and honestly they probably are to some degree), in addition to the move.

But for those of you keeping track at home, we are just over two months following our move, and I had really wanted to give you an update on whether or not my initial advice was solid…but I would say the jury is still kind of out on that.

I really wish I could say that I totally nailed it…took all my own advice, have had no unexpected bumps along the way and things have been smooth sailing.

But this is trauma, right? And it’s also a house which had 6 children living in it previously and it does not appear the previous owners owned a mop, vacuum or paintbrush. That explains enough, right?

So honestly maybe the jury isn’t completely out though.

Some of what I shared in my first post I do believe has helped smooth the transition: familiarity with the places were especially helpful for my son in particular.

But, as many of you know, kids from hard places just struggle with change. I don’t know a kid who has experienced trauma but does NOT struggle with change. Or carry a fear of change. Or have some sort of anxiety over change.

So honestly, the move itself went pretty well. The night before we moved, my son, who had seemed excited and engaged for the most part about the move, was snuggled up with me, and just quietly, a little crack in his voice, asked, “why do we have to leave this house?” And my heart just broke into a million pieces, because it was the first time during the entire moving experience that he displayed any sort of anxious thoughts about it.

But once we moved, he never (at least with words) looked back and things were pretty good…all these extraneous circumstances aside, of course.

I’ll post again about it in the new year (definitely not in January, as those holidays will still be fresh). But I hope that you’ve been encouraged in understanding that trauma doesn’t deal well with additional loss, and in spite of your best efforts, a move with trauma might still end up being a little rocky.