Tuesday with Monique

Tuesday seems to be a day I have to be ready. Several Tuesday’s last year and two this have required strength I lack. What is with the second day of the school week? As I sat to write this I turned on Pandora and the first song that played stopped me and reminded me what I need is just a prayer away.

This school year has been rough to say the least. Growing up with autism is hard work!!

Week One

Tuesday following Christmas break I had to pick up my daughter Monique because she refused to go to ‘work’. Work is a transition training program with the local high school to prepare her to work/serve in some way after graduation.

Wednesday I kept her home because she refused to shower on Tuesday. Can’t go to school or work stinky.

Week Two

Monday she refused to get out of bed because her alarm didn’t go off, she forgot to turn it on and I forgot to check. She was late but had a good day.

Today is Tuesday!

She was argumentative and forgot her key. I texted her teacher to see if Monique could make it without me bringing her key to school. She has to use a lock with a key because the combination is too difficult. He responded he was home sick and the kids would not go to work. Immediately thinking, ‘I should just go pick her up, she has a substitute aid and now a substitute teacher.’ Before I could decide the school name showed up on caller ID. Expecting her voice I was only slightly surprised to hear the principal greet me.

She kicked another student and would be suspended for three days.

Really what is the point in her going on Friday? It’s one day then the weekend. Then it’s just one Monday away from Tuesday!


From the schools side they are looking toward the ten days of suspension mark. Where protocols collide with disabilities at a manifestation hearing.

We already had one manifestation hearing this year. At a manifestation hearing the education team gathers (special education teacher, regular ed. teacher, administrator, director of student services, school psychologist, parents, case manager from county DD, and others).

  1. First determine if the behavior is related to the disability. Absolutely.
  2. Second establish a plan of action to understand, control, or modify the behavior in question. I wish I knew how! This behavior is new and unpredictable.

Silent tears fall. I pull myself together, scrape the new fallen snow from the van, and head out, praying all the way. I pray through the Stages of Grief by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I add Surrender.

Prayer anchors me

I can’t imagine riding this roller coaster without the comfort prayer offers. Is it a crutch? You bet it is because I would never be able to stand on my own. When we return home the tears fall again and I begin gathering support. A call to action, my texts go to family and friends explaining the situation and our needs; wisdom, tools, insights, and clarity to help Monique communicate clearly and express her emotions, needs, and wants less aggressively and violently. Peace for my heart and good decisions. Prayer is the first and best reaction when life blind-sides me.


When we call out for assistance the worst thing that can happen is no response. I had called out, to God, to friends, to my husband. Assurance and support came from those who love me, texts of prayers and encouragement blew up my phone. The most powerful was the response I got from God. It could have gone unnoticed but I have practiced my listening, and I work to maintain connection. Not only did God use people I know but music by Casting Crowns and Brandon Heath also touched my weakness with His strength. I opened a document that held encouragement from my other daughter from 2012.

Do you know someone who has special needs? Autism? Downs Syndrome? Birth Defects? Genetic Defects? Do you know someone who cares or helps support them? Comment below with a first name and commit to pray for them, I will join you and together may God’s Kingdom come into their lives and bless them.


7 Steps to Freedom

If you are in danger, please use a safe computer or call 911. your local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Abusive relationships steal your value and identity, don’t let it. Use the steps below to plan your exit.

7 steps to freedom
In an abusive relationship? Make a plan to leave, it starts by telling someone.

The ONLY person you can change is YOU!

You don’t deserve abuse! You can’t control an abuser! Abuse is NOT normal! It is NOT OK!

7 Steps to freedom

  1. Tell someone – admit you’re in an abusive relationship and are getting out and need help
  2. Tell someone else – choose who you confide in carefully but two is better than one
  3. If you become afraid for your life, leave and contact local or national help helplines
  4. Make a plan
    • ProvisionsABCDE
      • Attorney – ask your confidant to research legal aid, protection orders, and custody issues. Abusers don’t give up easily and you will need legal advice and an attorney.
      • Bread or Money – food, gas, hotel, diapers, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask the people you told you want out, they want to help, let them.
      • Cover – identify several places you can stay, one is good but four is perfect. Collect and store spare clothing for all people you are taking with you at the locations or a friend’s.
      • Documents – birth certificates, driver’s license, marriage license, social security cards, insurance cards, bank account info, credit card accounts, bills in your name, your partner’s full name and social security number. Phone numbers and addresses written down, don’t rely on a cell phone. If you don’t have access to some of these because of your partner, ask those you told for help to obtain copies from the appropriate agencies.
      • Exit plan – think, plan, and practice leaving under various situations. Is there an exit that moves you away from things that can be used as weapons against you? Try and ensure you have a couple of places you can hide or exit away from weapons. Old cell phones must connect to 911 if the battery is charged – they do NOT need to have an active plan – keep one and keep it charged.
  • Set a reasonable timeline – If you have no access to critical documents and a safe place to go, start there first and give yourself some time. Set a timeline and share it with your confidants to help keep you focused.
  • Protect Yourself – take your electronics, personal items, journals, anything of yours and won’t be missed and remove it from the home. Don’t expect the abuser to leave the home. It’s safer if you leave and sort out the property later.
  1. Leave when opportunity opens – When you have prepared what you can, leave. If your situation gets worse and you must flee before you’re ready, leave. You know your abuser better than anyone – trust yourself.
  2. Seek legal protection – No children, no pets, no property, no problem. But if you share any of these things and want some say in how they are shared or used you need to go to court. There are legal aid and victim advocates to help but they may have lengthy waiting lists. Have the people you tell you are leaving start here. Call the police if your abuser threatens or stalks you, even if your abuser has connections or ties to local police.
  3. Seek help – Go to counseling. No victim deserves to figure out how to stay safe, use the many support systems that are near you. Sheriffs, Social Services, Crisis Centers, Health and Human Services Department, Catholic Charities, and other religious or social organizations are available. Getting safe is only the first step. Learning to value who you are and discover what you like and don’t like can take time.

This may seem like a lengthy process to prepare to leave but it’s important. First it changes the way you think about yourself as a valuable individual. Second it builds a determination to sustain you throughout the process. Third it protects you from the abuser by shifting from reacting out of fear to acting with intention. Leaving unprepared leaves victims vulnerable to the abuser often forcing them to return. Often abusers destroy everything you leave behind hindering your access to physical and legal safety.

A resource by state found here. It’s listed as domestic violence against women but the information is useful regardless of gender including state laws and resources.

If you think someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, be careful for their sake. Don’t assume and don’t push, but be willing to help. Start by printing the list of questions found here I posted earlier. Share them discreetly and let her/him decide. If the person asks for help, print this list and show them what you are willing to do to help. You can do nothing until they ask for help, if you try they may never come to you.

©2016 Elayne Cross


Abusive Relationship?

If you are in danger, please use a safe computer, computers leave trails and searching can make you vulnerable, or call 911, your local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Has someone told you you’re in an abusive relationship?


You don’t deserve abuse, you can identify it and get free from it. You are worth it!

Did someone show this to you and beg you to answer the questions honestly?

If you are a concerned friend or family member – print this and be VERY careful when you share it.

Please take a minute and ask yourself.

Do I…

  • feel like I’m walking on egg-shells
  • avoid topics I know will stir angry outbursts
  • fear the police because of threats made by my partner
  • cover up what the relationship is really like and how I feel
  • lack freedom to say what we do, where we go, or to say no
  • have to have sex against my will
  • fear leaving because of threats
  • fear staying because of threats
  • make excuses for the things my partner says and does
  • have needs going unmet
  • lack the funds to buy what I need
  • agree just to keep the peace


The abuser…

  • Spends money on personal enjoyment
  • Doesn’t like my family so I don’t see them much, or at all
  • Gets possessive if I spend time with friends
  • Is judgmental
  • Accuses me of cheating
  • Controls the money
  • Doesn’t take personal responsibility for his/her behavior
  • Uses my religious beliefs to support the abuse
  • Will just look at me in public and I know I did something wrong and make me afraid
  • Checks up on me – comes to my work, calls me, drives by where I’m at
  • Has destroyed some of my things, especially personal or emotionally valuable things
  • Controls what clothing I wear either by ridicule and humiliation or commanding I change
  • Controls who we spend time with, and limits time with unapproved people
  • Uses my emotions against me, especially crying
  • Threatens to beat me up, punch me, or kill me
  • Threatened to divorce or leave me and take everything
  • Threatened to take away my kids
  • Ridicules my accomplishment, creativity, and ideas
  • Blames me or others for problems and everything that goes wrong
  • Has physically hit, choked, poked, pulled my hair
  • Has used physical or emotional means to keep me home

Abuse is physical, emotional, and psychological.

It can be predominantly emotional and psychological, but it’s still abuse. If you answered yes to less than five questions above you may still be in an abusive relationship. Fear and control are the root of abuse. If you have become submissive to limit the abuse, you are in a temporary state of calm.

Emotional and psychological abuse are verbal. This wears away at your identity and value. Often it is this type of abuse leads victims to believe they deserve it, can control it, and it’s normal.

If you are in danger, please use a safe computer, or call 911, your local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

You don’t deserve abuse! You can’t control an abuser! Abuse is NOT normal! It’s NOT OK!

If you want more information about how to  get away safely (or help someone) comment below. I did it, so can you.

©Jan 2016 Elayne Cross