The Other Angry Mom

It took me five tries to actually read the whole letter. I had seen it on a few friends’ facebook pages and glanced at it, but I just could not bear to read such complete hatred for another person, especially hatred for someone with autism. If you have not seen the letter and have a strong stomach, you can read it here.

One of my problems with the letter is it confirmed something I have known for years. Those looks–the ones we have gotten in stores, on the street, at the playground, at church–some of those looks match this woman’s words. I had hoped I was interpreting them incorrectly.

I was hoping I was being overly sensitive. But in the pit of my stomach I have always known some of those looks have questioned Peter’s humanity. They have put him in a different category and it scares me. It scares me that people can hate Peter for his noise level when he is stressed. It scares me that people can not separate Peter from his behaviors.

He is a gentle soul trying to figure out how to live in a world that is too noisy, too busy, too fast. When all those things overwhelm him, he then becomes too noisy, too quick to react. He is trying to learn how to handle this world of ours and we are trying to give it to him in very small doses so he can adjust.

I am not going to respond directly to what this mother wrote about another child. I do not think her hatred merits a direct response. I am going to address all the parents who have special needs children. Peter has helped me look at everyone with a more patient heart. For every look that stings know there is another parent who has caught you doing amazing things for your child.

Know that I smiled as I walked up the grocery aisle after watching a Mom gently redirect a struggling child for what must have been the tenth time. Know I said a little prayer for the Mom who looked so tired as she tried to quickly drag her sobbing child out of a loud party. Know I smiled at your little girl who could only glance over at me, but desperately wanted to connect.

Please know that the letter writer is not alone, but neither are you. There are many people who appreciate what you are doing for your child and are taking the walk along with you.

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38 responses

  1. Jeannine kennedy | Reply

    I actually feel sorry for this woman as she is so obviously void of any humanity. I still believe people like her are the minority and judging from the outrage i am probably correct.

    1. I do believe you are correct too.

  2. Beautiful Patrice. I hope you don’t mind if I share it.

  3. This is an open statement to the author of that letter.
    The statements that you have made are insensitive, hurtful and demonstrate a juvenile mentality. People with Autism, are still people. Though not always apparent they have feelings just like you.
    I understand your frustration with your neighbor’s behavior. Children with disabilities can be frustrating, and exhausting. I say this from experience; I am raising a son with autism. It is difficult but having him in my life has given me a greater sense of humanity that I otherwise would not have. You should open yourself up to acceptance of his diversity; clearly you could benefit from a greater sense of humanity yourself.
    Take a moment and try to understand the frustration that this boy experiences every day. Like any child, like your children, he has needs, but he does not have the ability to express them, at least not in a way that most people can understand. The voice inside his head is screaming for someone to help him, understand him, accept him; but when he tries to speak all he can produce is the “noise” that you complain about. He hears it too; it is not the sound he wants to make. If he had the ability to articulate his needs verbally, like your “normal” children he would.
    You are a coward. Everyone has the right to speak their minds. If you had taken ownership of your statements I would not hesitate to defend that right, but you have not. You have chosen to hide behind anonymity. If you lack shame for the hurtful things you have said you should at least be ashamed that you are not taking responsibility for them.
    I will not hide my identity; I take full responsibility for everything that I say. My name is Wade Huntley, I live in West Jordan Utah, I operate a website: http://www.avoiceformyson.com where my contact information can be found. You are welcome to contact me yourself. Be warned that I may post any communications that I receive from you and if you reveal your identity to me I will disclose it publicly.
    Finally, I am making an open offer of $100(USD) to anyone that can positively identify you as the author of this letter. It isn’t much but it is all that I can afford. Given the hurtful things that you have said I doubt it will require any reward for someone to reveal who you are. If I am able to confirm your identity I will post it publicly on my site and I will provide it to your local news stations.

    Wade Huntley
    Proud father of an autistic child

    1. Your reply to this evil woman is amazing! I hope and pray someone turns this woman over without seeking a reward she’s a monster no kind of mother. Just because you have children does not make you a mommy, mommy’s wouldn’t fix their lips to speak about a child like this. I’m a mommy and a strong believer in karma I would never say anything like this first off second I would always be afraid for my own children’s destiny after speaking such evil words . Wade your a great person and from what I can see a amazing daddy!!

      1. Thank you for your kind words. I so agree about being a Mommy.

      2. In all likely hood someone will turn her over without seeking a reward. I wouldn’t protect anyone I know if they said those things. I will still give the money to them. If they refuse it I will donate it whatever charity Max’s family directs or to autism speaks.

      3. You are quite a guy. Thank you for supporting this family.

    2. Thank you for your thoughtful and heartfelt response.

    3. Oh someone knows who she is. That evil mother won’t be able to hide for long.

  4. I’d just like to say that you have dealt with such a awful situation with such dignity. Having a child with special needs is difficult enough, then alone having to deal with neighbor’s that are so heartless and cruel, most people, including myself wouldn’t have been so lenient with such a horrendous letter. We need more people like you on this planet but unfortunately we are over-run with rude, insulting idiot’s. Bravo and people here in Australia salute you. xoxoxoxooxox

  5. Anne Marie Trudelle | Reply

    The angry mom is the minority!!.but when you run into them they are LOUD.insensitive!! Have come to conclusion to pick my arguments . My daughter is such a better person than that!! Hate that it had to also come from a MOM..for the love of God woman???REALLY??!! If your child never ages a day past today will you then put her or him up for organ donation?? You wonder why men don’t trust our gender…….perhaps cuz its women who stab other women in the back. I pray for you and yours.
    signed Anne Marie Trudelle

    1. I agree–definitely the minority.

  6. Beautifully said as usual, Patrice!

  7. So beautifully expressed, Pat! Well done…

  8. Unfortunately we live in a world where there is evil. Whether it be anti gay, anti religion, anti race, anti persons with disabilities, etc. It is unfortunate that some of those are uninformed and that’s why the say and do the things they do. The rest are just mean hearted and nothing anyone says can change their closed, evil minds. This woman has several disabilities herself. For one she is a coward. She is so upset about this family being in the neighborhood, and claims to speak for everyone, yet does so anonymously.

    That all being said, I have found many more people becoming aware of children with disabilities and many no longer consider them to be bad children. It breaks my heart when I’m in a store or restaurant and a parent is with their special needs child, and they apologize to me for “acting up”. I beg them not to. My heart goes out to all of the families with children of disabilities. It takes a special kind of family to care and bring up a child, even more so when that child has a disability. I have been blessed with 3 beautiful children. All healthy, with no majors concerns. I have never taken that for granted. My nephew has a disability, Fragile X syndrome. We all have learned a great deal from him. He is making strides everyday. He is an amazing kid, (now 21) and my sister and her family are just as amazing! Patrice, you and your family are doing an amazing job with Peter, and I know that he brings so much joy to everyone that comes in contact with him. I enjoy every one of your posts, especially the ones about Peter, make me smile.

    Like I said in the beginning, there are evil people in our world. That evil letter, and that evil author have no merit. If she was able to walk in your shoes for a day, she would see things differently.

    1. Thank you for your kind words. Yes there are evil people and thank goodness there are more good people like you!

  9. Nancy Blankenstein | Reply

    I thought we had had enough of Nazi mentality! Typical of people who write hate letters-she didn’t have the courage to sign her own name.

  10. As always,beautifully written. Sad that there are minds that think this way. May God find them and help heal them.

  11. Very nicely put. My nephew has an autistic child who is now a grown man. He has never spoken but when he was younger and I would see him while on vacation at home, he would always stop and give you a look as though he knew who you were so I would always speak to him as I did the other children. He would then turn and go about his business. I am sure that deep down in there, they are totally aware of what is going on around them. He also hated it when it got too noisy and would yell. I think sometimes we all would love to do that but cannot.

    1. Thank you. It sounds like you found a way to reach your nephew

  12. I saw the letter on facebook and it made me wonder if more than 1 person instigated the writing of it….

      1. I agree, it would – but there was something in the way it was written that caught my eye. I hope not – but there are some real weird folk out in the world these days. 😦

  13. When I read that letter, it turned my stomach. I don’t have an autistic child or personally know anyone who is, but even I have the decency to understand that it’s a medical condition that just needs a little sympathy. I can’t believe that the letter writer thinks euthanasia is a viable option – as if it’s legal or ethical. I would argue that this person is a sociopath of some kind.

    1. The whole thing is mind boggling to me.

  14. Beautifully written Patrice.

    I have a confession to make, and a lot of my family and friends know this fact. I would never have shunned anyone in such a way that this lady or person did in this letter to the Begley family. I have always been a kind hearted individual, but, was ignorant at the same time. Growing up I had one friend who was severely autistic, he knew I came to play with him, but, as a kid it was awkward, because he wasn’t allowed to leave his yard without mom, and I loved to play baseball and hockey, the stuff he couldn’t grasp. HE LOVED FOOTBALL AND TACKLING THOUGH, I think I still have scars from it.

    I would leave his place and other friends would see me and say not such nice things. So, my being with him, at eleven years old, became a social hindrance. My visits with him became less and less frequent. As I am writing this, I am getting welled up inside.

    It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties, I met up with my high school sweetheart, who had a very high needs son, not an autistic child, but a child with a disability. My thoughts were, “Why isn’t he in a home?” “He is such a problem, for the family to contend with.” I would see him in short gaps, when we would pick up my high school sweetheart, to go on outings and things. I honestly thought she was trying to get away from him. Was I ever wrong in thinking that.

    One day, my wife, at the time, and myself went to visit the family and we spent close to six hours there. Within five minutes of us being there, this little boy, charmed the socks off of me. Right then, I knew, like I should have always known. It is LOVE, 100% unconditional love that makes this family work and every family with a special needs child work.

    My High School Sweetheart and I have been together for fourteen years and have been married for 8. We lost our son 23 months ago at the age of 20 year due to complications from his disability and it has been the hardest thing to live without him ever since.

    1. Ken what a heartfelt story. I am sorry to hear of your family’s loss. You sound like you have a golden heart and did quite a bit for an 11 year old too. Give yourself some credit. Remember every time you give someone that little bit of extra love you are honoring your son.

  15. Hi there. I have 4 kids of my own and just want to say I am so sorry you had to go through this. I can not imagine how it must’ve felt reading that letter. No parent should ever have to go through that.

    1. Thank you. The letter was not addressed to me, but I could feel some of the pain the Mom who received it must have felt. It is hard to imagine anyone with children could write something like this to another Mom.

  16. This is a beautiful response to that letter. Thank you for sharing your insight and perspective.

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