This I Believe

Rebecca - Lantana, Florida
Entered on October 8, 2006

Recently, my mother visited a therapist to discuss my brother’s ADD condition. I’ve given her more hell than she needs about it. I insist that no matter how many therapists and specialists say the pill is the only option, it’s wrong for him to try and correct himself for something that makes him unique.

My brother John and I are three years apart. I’m a senior in high school, and he’s a freshman. For his sake, I have to believe that I’m capable of compassion. He’s more sensitive, he has a shorter temper, and he can’t focus as easily as the average person. On the surface, it sounds bad. Pitiful, even. But as hard as I try to pity him, I just can’t.

John has an anger problem. If something isn’t perfect, he gets frustrated and blows up. It’s bad when him and Mom are trying to have an important conversation. If he gets frustrated, he immediately shuts everything out. Then Mom just gets angry and gives up, or yells to try and get his attention. He’s rarely ever shown patience, and so he doesn’t know what it is. I can’t help but wonder that maybe if people could just be more patient with him, he’d try to be more patient himself.

My mother has a vice on John’s freedom. She communicates with all his teachers and monitors his grades like a computer. She gets really upset because John absolutely refuses to take school seriously. No matter how many times she e-mails his teachers for the weekly assignments, or goes through his backpack for homework, or restricts his free time, she can’t seem to make him try. But why try when your mother tries enough for the both of you? John has never tasted the sweet freedom that comes from taking care of yourself. It’s partly his fault for never giving my mother reason to not worry. But it’s equally my mother’s fault for never giving him the chance to.

I’m probably wrong about ADD, and about the pills, and about my brother. At least that’s what my mother, her therapist, and every ADD book tells me. But if this is true, then why do I feel so hostile? If they really are trying to help my brother, why cant I just let him be happy?

Until my brother can break free of his binding, I’d like to hold onto my beliefs, and try to be more accepting of people who are different, and try to change this world. I want people like my brother to feel good about themselves again, and to be able to experience peace.