This I Believe

Ivan - Lynnwood, Washington
Entered on May 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

The Power of a Family Unit

I believe in the power of a family. I’m 15 and the youngest of two in my family. I grew up with two people in my life, my mom, a strong, will hearted, and loving woman who has always been there for me, and an older sister that is hard working and forgiving who has never stopped loving me.

At a year old my mom and dad divorced so I grew up with out a male role model. My dad is an alcoholic and lives with my grandmother in California. I couldn’t talk until I was about four and was taken to a mental health doctor due to violent and strange behaviors. In the office she was examining me until I threw something at her and pissed her off. She then classified me as “Mentally Disturbed”.

This freaked out my mother and she took me to more doctors. They diagnosed me as ADHD and Depression. My mom didn’t have the support of a spouse and could only rely on the doctors. Things only got worse.

I was in second grade and the doctors gave me an Anti-depressant that I later found out hadn’t been tested on kids. I became violent and out of control. I would physically harm my mom and sister and to others that tried to stop me bite layers of skin off of arms.

Years have passed and I’m now in high school as a freashman and I’ve become relatively normal (I’m a crazy guy in a great way). I’ve been off the medication for quite some time but I’m still on medication for both my depression and ADHD. Through it all my family has stuck together. We all look out for one another, we support each other, and best of all we love each other.

In 2002, we were introduced to my father figure, Lynn Dennis. Lynn is a retired Navy Aviator and is a dad to me. He has loved and been there for all of us and completed our family.

The four of us contribute something to the family. We can do anything when we’re together. We are a powerful family unit.