This I Believe

Nicole - Denver, Colorado
Entered on May 7, 2007

Please Listen

How can such simple words be so hard to process? Saying them over and over again gets nowhere. The person on the receiving end tunes out every sentence and, even when listening, finds the words incomprehensible. He may look you in the eye, but in the end everything being said to him goes in one ear and out the other. This is why I believe, “Sometimes you need to listen. Even crabby, self-indulged Lucy knew the importance of listening. She started the famous ‘Psychiatry Booth’ where any and all could come and be heard.” For him listening is a process, a long, endless one.

Around 1997, my parents adopted a young Hawaiian boy named Ryan. With striking dirty-blond curls and a sweet smile he was picture perfect. His personality reflected little of what he is today. Ryan had a very sweet demeanor and a tendency to be timid. Growing up he conveyed little symptoms of ADHD but with puberty he grew into his inability to control his impulses. I would have never thought that his future would involve a return visit to the same Court House he was adopted in, only this time it was to address the felony he had committed.

Preschool brought the beginning of many problems; Ryan had to be held back one year because of how far behind he was. I was young and didn’t think this to be a very big deal, neither did he. Being held back helped him cope with his learning disabilities, which in a couple of years became much more serious. Throughout lower school he tested many different schools. Each one with different problems but one thing in common; making him worse. Trips to the principal’s office and phone calls to home became routine. Everything leading to up the place he is now. On March 21, 2007 my little brother set fire to a school dumpster. With firemen, school officials, and psychiatrists being consulted I couldn’t help but think he ruined everything. Ryan is already at a special school, one that is supposed to help with learning disabilities and ADHD. My sister and I felt as if he had blown his last chance at a good life. At first, I did not talk to him for three days. I had so much to say to him, even though I knew he would not give the response I hoped for. As I tried over and over again to explain the depth of what he had done I saw no remorse in his face. With a potential juvenile record and the fact he is being sent away made me say everything I could think of, but he doesn’t get it! Nor to this day do I believe he ever will.

As Ryan gets ready to leave I feel sad and anxious, my little brother is leaving. I expected so much more out of him, he lets me down again and again. He needs to heal and get as much help as he can. I still feel hope, and know if he really works hard at it he will have a bright future.