Dear Joseph

Dear Joseph

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

I want to be able to say that I loved you from the moment I saw your screwed up face, dark brown hair with the bright birthmark across your nose; I didn’t.

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.

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 you had this label. I don’t even know whether you will ever be aware of your label. I grieved for my baby that I felt I was never allowed to have. I grieved for the childhood I felt you wouldn’t have and I wept uncontrollably for fear of what your adulthood would bring. It seemed that you would be denied the opportunity to love, live and learn and I felt every bit responsible for who you were.

We have gone through some tough times together and if I had to hazard a guess at what you are thinking when I push you to your limits, it would probably consist of words that I convince myself you have never heard me say.

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.

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. I try not to shout it too loudly from the rooftops or gain too much hope because I don’t know whether it will plateau or whether it’s the start of a steep curve of development.

I’m not sure whether you will ever be capable of reading my letter to you or be able to understand it. I won’t stop wondering what you would be like without autism. I’m often frustrated because of all the challenges you face because you are autistic but I will continue to protect you for as long as I am able to.

Your personality shines through and your ability to love and make people smile makes me proud.

I promise you that I will fight every fight we need to, for you and because of you. And equally, I will continue to refuse to let autism define who you and I are. You are autistic, but first and foremost you are Joseph. Brilliant Joseph.

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.



14 Comments Add yours

  1. Debbue says:

    I am honoured to be a part of this special little persons life. Once again you have made my eyes leak !!!!!

    1. Tina Medlock says:

      We are the ones who are lucky Debbie xx

  2. Leanne says:

    Very honest and heart warming yet again. Not happy you made me cry when sat in the hairdressers though haha. Getting some funny looks, but you know what I don’t give a shit. Will tell them proudly about my wonderful friends if they ask ❤️

  3. Tina Medlock says:

    Ahh thank you xx I cried too!

  4. Oh my god Tina I love you even more now. Girl crush has developed into so much more!!

  5. Tina Medlock says:

    Haha and there was me thinking it’s always been one sided! 😉 x

  6. Chris D says:

    Beautifully written Tina

  7. Such a beautiful post. Sometimes life is rubbish. You will get there, both of you together. I love the photo of you both, utterly beautiful, the love shines through every single word #PostsFromTheHeart

  8. You honesty is very brave and very refreshing. You can tell just from your letter that Joseph is the light of your life , but there must be very dark times. Motherhood is hard enough without the addition of Autism

  9. Thank you for reading it and understanding exactly what I intended to say. It’s not easy to be so honest publicly!

  10. ljdove23 says:

    What a beautiful post, and so honest. Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s lovely to hear an honest account that I am sure we can all relate to on some level. #postsfromtheheart

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment 🙂

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