Family Life

'I'm sorry I didn't love you': mum pens heart-wrenching letter about autism

"I want to say that I fell in love with you the moment I discovered I was pregnant; I didn't." 

Tina Medlock, mum and blogger, has gotten honest about life with her autistic son, Joseph.

Writing an open letter to Love What Matters, Medlock lays out her feelings about motherhood and her son's autism diagnosis. 

"I wanted you with all of my heart, yet I didn't love you with every inch of it and I don’t know why.

"You made me work incredibly hard at being a Mummy and it made me question even more why I didn't love you like all the textbooks said I would, and in the way my Mummy friends loved their babies."

This confusion worsened after Joseph's diagnosis: 

"On the day you were diagnosed with autism, I cried for what seemed like eternity. I couldn't imagine how life would ever be the same again for either of us now that you had this label.

"It seemed that you would be denied the opportunity to love, live and learn and I felt every bit responsible for who you were."

The road after diagnosis was tough, especially as Joe had difficulty communicating: 

"I become frustrated at your inability to communicate with me and with others. I swear inwardly when you are just being you, but because it results in people staring at us.

"I cry when I think about the child you should have been, not the child you are, and become angry with myself because I have all of these thoughts, yet none of it is your fault."

But there are moments that make it all worthwhile: 

"When you know I am angry and walk up to me and say, ‘Smile mummy,’ I laugh. And when you ask the question every parent hates, ‘Are we there yet?,’ when the engine hasn't even started, I have to suppress the laughter.

"I beam with pride when you describe to me what you are doing or ask me a relevant question that has meaning. And I do this because I have a glimpse of normality." 

But in the end, it was fight that brought them closer together: 

"I will continue to refuse to let autism define who you and I are. It’s not something we can beat but we will overcome many of the problems it will bring.

"The truth is Joseph, it took me a while to fall in love with you and throughout all of your problems that you had to deal with at such an early age, it made me want to protect you and love you in a way I had never encountered.

"I’m sorry I didn't love you when I first saw your face but as each day has passed since, my love for you has grown and I not only love you, but I cherish you with every inch of my heart." 

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