A protective mom used to getting hate messages about her special needs child decided to write a troll who insulted her boy a letter after she got the account reported and removed.
Parents are mandated to raise their kids in the best possible way, which usually reflects in the children. With kids who have special needs, this age-old task becomes a bit more complicated and tender.
Megan Mennes, from Houston, Texas, knew just how technical it could be to cater to such kids because her son Quinn had Down syndrome.
This is a story about the letter she wrote and put on the internet to chastise an offensive user when she stumbled upon a hateful comment she could not ignore.
SHE WAS PROUD OF HER SON
While some parents may, on rare occasions, find caring for a special needs child overwhelming, Mennes was utterly comfortable with her son’s disorder having resigned herself to it.
She was proud of her child despite him having Down syndrome; in fact, the devoted mother had a blog dedicated to Quinn and his disability.
There she shares pictures and talks about his battles as he got older, and over time she got used to seeing ignorant trolls post rude comments about her kid.
The words got to her, but she decided earlier on in her life that she would not carry the weight they had on her shoulders. She wrote in her letter:
“These comments, while offensive, simply serve to showcase people’s hate-fueled ignorance and aren’t worth my time. I grimace when I read them, but realize there’s little to be done about such stupidity.”
A PICTURE THAT MEANT TOO MUCH
One day, Mennes took a photo of her son that captured him sitting outdoors in their backyard with a smile on his face.
According to the doting mom, she took the shot because it made her happy. Before that day, her son was sick and had only gotten better enough to manage a smile that melted her heart.
As usual, she shared the picture on social media, but then the proud mom noticed a single comment that got under her skin. It was just a single word, and it read “Ugly.”
Mennes had been taking care of her child for a while, and over time, she grew a thick skin to resist the barbs and insults that became almost custom with posts concerning Down syndrome.
However, she felt it was her duty to speak her mind, so on April 14, 2014, she penned a lengthy open letter addressed to the troll whose account she had gotten suspended by reporting it.
Mennes wrote in the letter she shared via her blog, “The fact that you find my child ugly is one thing.” The doting mom also admitted that the troll was indeed entitled to his opinions but that it was utterly “childish” and “sad” of him to repeat the same action under posts with the Down syndrome hashtag.
Mennes declared that she reported the account because it was one thing to leave a rude comment under a random post online and another to seek out posts like that just to drop toxic comments deliberately. She wrote:
“It will not be the last time someone makes a joke at his expense, but to actively seek out actual people to tease goes beyond cruel. It’s inhuman.”
According to her, his profile was full of rude and toxic comments, all of which only served to show how ignorant the troll indeed was.
After giving him a piece of her mind, she ended the letter with “A Proud Mama” — a clear statement that proved how dignified she felt about the role she played in her son’s life.
HOW PEOPLE REACTED
Shortly after the letter went public, it became viral and garnered a lot of support from people who could not believe what Mennes had detailed in her letter.
Many were livid on her behalf and praised her for handling the case with such maturity rather than letting the toxic words get the best of her.
The outpour of support reached Mennes, and at some point, she decided to write a shorter letter to express her appreciation for the backing she received from netizens. She wrote:
“I can’t even begin to express my gratitude; I wish I had time to respond to all your messages personally, but due to the overwhelming influx of support, this is simply impossible.”
Mennes begged that they all accept her letter as a great big hug in return for their empathy, no doubt having gotten re-energized by the outpour. Her story is proof that trolls or haters on the internet can only really hurt you when they are allowed.
Mennes refused to be responsible for the way the troll thought, and rather than agonize over her words; she chose to correct him by calling out his folly in a very controlled manner.