4/17/2016

In Over My Head

I started attempting this challenge on a whim; I did it last year, so why couldn't I do it this year? I forgot one thing - it is time consuming. I have to write every day. I can't just write - I have to find a subject based off of a letter of the alphabet. I don't really find it as fun as I thought I would. My anxiety spikes every time I go to write a blog, even about the most important aspects of my life. This year, I am throwing in the towel after only a few entries. I think I may try again in August with blogging every day - about my life, and daily activities. I hope you all have a great challenge, and a fantastic April. Thank you to all who commented on the entries I have already posted. Have a good challenge!

4/11/2016

(I) Love You

When I was a kid, maybe around fourteen/fifteen, I thought that "I love you" should be reserved for special occasions and even more special people. I felt like I should say it to my family, and my boyfriends. I was actually taught in church that there are different kinds of love, and that it is okay to experience love as long as it was in the box they taught us about, and using whichever rules they set into place. I was told that love could not exist where their god wasn't

Now that I am older, I feel like my young belief about love was entirely, completely wrong. I've lost so many people within the past five years - friends, family members, pets - through people walking away and death claiming them. I have realized that love is entirely too short NOT to tell people that you love them. I tell everyone that I love that I truly do love them when I can, often. Before I leave I peek in to my sister's room and tell her sleeping form that I love her, tell my mom I'm leaving and that I love her, tell my dad on my way out the door, tell my fiance every day multiple times a day, tell whatever friends I can as I see them, tell my pets that I love and need them, and repeat the cycle of saying I love you to my family before I go to bed. I make love with my fiance to show him that he is still important (to me there is a distinct difference between sex and love, but I have come to understand that to him sex is a part of love).

In terms of religious, James and I aren't. We leave god out of our relationship and try to focus on us. Our wedding will be about us, our relationship about compromise and how to make each other the happiest we can. We will lift each other up with our love as the foundation.

Though I tell people every day that I love them, the showing part is always more difficult. Not because I can't, but because each person shows love and receives love differently. I do what I can when I can, giving my time, energy, money, presence and presents when I am able.

I feel like that love is one of the strongest and undervalued emotions that exists. I will forever try to make sure everyone I know feels loved, and do my best to let people I do not know how valuable they are.

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4/09/2016

(H)arry Potter

Books: I have been reading (and re-reading) the books since I was eleven years of age; I've read 1-4 six times each and 5-7 three times each. They were the only consistently solid thing in a life full of constant changes. They have taken me on multiple adventures and shaped me as a human, teaching me about love and friendship. I recently had the pleasure of reading the illustrated version of The Sorcerer's Stone, and that was like taking a breath of fresh air; I loved reading the UK version and seeing the gorgeous illustrations. I can't wait until The Chamber Of Secrets is released in its illustrated form, and I have already pre-ordered by copy of "The Cursed Child" - it should be here the day after it is released.

Movies: I remember seeing the first movie at the theater during one of my friend's (now deceased) birthday parties. We had a reserved section just for us and got an exclusive film strip from the movie (mine was from the Gringotts scene) that I still have somewhere around here. I watched the rest of them with a variety of people throughout the years - friends, family, significant others... They were something that I looked forward to for many years to come, actually catching a few at the midnight showings while dressed up like a crazy person. I don't care for the movies on the scale that I do the books, but it is still nice to be able to see the story come to life. I also enjoy answering all of my non-nerdy friends' questions about the series because the movies don't explain it so well, so I get to show off everything that I know; to quote the Internet meme, I know more about Harry Potter than U.S. History.

Growing up, I got my hands on whatever I could Harry Potter. Board games (Mystery At Hogwarts and Wizards Chess and Scene It), a trading card game booster pack, chocolate frogs, Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans... A magazine that specifically covered Harry Potter that came with temporary tattoos, a book interviewing J.K. Rowling, journals, the three companion books... Computer and video games... Hedwig Figurines and Funko Pops...

This series is where my love of owls developed, thanks to Hedwig, and later Errol and Pigwidgeon. It started off as an infatuation, and has become a full blown obsession over the years.

I am not ashamed. I love this series so much, and I feel like that if everyone read it, if everyone gave it a chance, their lives would be irrevocably changed as well, and for the better.

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4/08/2016

(G)ames I Like

I have been played games my entire life. Here are some of my favorites...

Card Games - I actually collect the Pokemon cards that there seem to be TRILLIONS OF; I have a binder full of them as well as ten tins full of them. I used to play Bullshit with some girls at church camp (BS while we were there). I was really really good at Blackjack when I was younger but not so good now; when I went to the casino a few years ago I busted every time. I absolutely LOVE Uno, and James just bought Uno Dare for us to try. I really like Apples to Apples (we played that in high school band and music theory a few times, spanning an entire class period), but I have to say that Cards Against Humanity is the best kind of game in that category; our friend Jimmy has EVERY major expansion and we have spent many nights laughing our asses off at the hilarity that ensued, including New Years Eve of this past year.

Board Games - I adore Disney Scene It (and kick ass at it), and love Harry Potter Scene It. I love Clue (traditional and the Harry Potter Mystery at Hogwarts version); we just played the traditional one on our friend Halloween and had to use candy pieces in place of the weapons since we lost half of them. I love playing The Game Of Life; it's always fun to see where everyone ends up and I love it when I end up with multiple sets of twins or something like that. I found this new game called Hoot Owl Hoot (to go with my owl addiction) where everyone works together to get the baby owls from the start tile to their nest before the sun rises; it's like Candy Land except with baby owls (which is actually another game I really liked). I like playing Checkers, because I'm usually pretty good at it, and Connect Four (I beat my friend's husband at it recently while we were waiting for our Boba Tea). Though it may not fit here, I love Dominoes and wish that my grandma were still around for us to play with her; she knew every possible combination of dominoes that could be played at any given time - she won quite a bit. I like Monopoly (we played one time on Thanksgiving and I won, and we played a few years ago at New Year's time), but it usually ends up going too long for me. I love playing Sorry! as well; we used to play with Dad when we were younger and it was a lot of fun - though I prefer Disney Sorry to the classic one because of the characters present.

Computer Games - I don't actually play a whole lot on the computer. There are a few Facebook Games (Pearl's Peril, Candy Crush Saga, Pet Rescue Saga, Cookie Jam, and Words Of Wonder). But what I can really spend hours on is Zoo Tycoon (I have two Zoos - The Safari Zone with all of the normal animals, and Jurassic Park with all of the Dinosaurs/Extinct Animals). The computer game I have been playing the longest is The Sims; my sister and I started with The Sims 2 on my desk top computer and have such an outlandish game going with so many different families that it makes my old computer laaaag. Now I play The Sims 3 religiously (in one town I started a family with James and I where we had like fourteen kids and those kids had kids etc for many generations).

Video Games - This is where I get in trouble. I started with a Gameboy that held Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Red, and eventually Pokemon Gold (I had other games too, but nothing really compared to them). Then there is the PlayStation 2, where I played Kingdom Hearts II on and beat the entire game. We have a Wii and really all I've played on it are Animal Crossing City Folk, and Pokepark I and II. Then I got a Nintendo DS (started playing Pokemon Heart Gold as well as some other smaller games). When I got my PlayStation 3 all hell broke loose. I fell in love with the Lego games (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel, Batman 1-3, The Lord of The Rings), Red Dead Redemption, Call Of Duty (the multiplayer, not so much the campaign), and Kingdom Hearts 1.5 Remix (playing through Kingdom Hearts for the first time!). Theeen my fiance gave me his purple Nintendo 3DS and more games entered my life - Animal Crossing New Leaf, Happy Home Academy, Pokemon Shuffle, Pokemon Rumble World, Fantasy Life, The Legend of Zelda - Link Between Worlds, and Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance (though I CAN GET POKEMON YELLOW AND RED AGAIN AND YOU BET THAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN). On the X-Box 360, I've played Viva Pinata, Left 4 Dead (I and II), and Fable II.

Honestly I think that's it. What are some of your favorite games!?

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4/07/2016

(F)riends/(F)amily/(F)iance

I have been very distracted during this challenge, but honestly I feel like it is by the right types of things.

On Thursday (the day this blog was supposed to be posted), I went to the doctor for a check-up (random bullshit stuff, mainly for fasting blood work, after dropping my fiance off at a comic book store to play Magic The Gathering with a few of my friends, then went straight back to the comic book store to hang out. I sat with them and talked to the only other girl (who plays Magic but she didn't feel like it at the moment) and spent too much money. We left around four thirty in the afternoon and James and I went out to dinner at Olive Garden on a date. After, we came home and hung out while my family popped in on us. It was honestly a very great day minus the doctor stuff and I honestly look forward to many more days like that in the future.

Friday I went to brunch with my sister, mom, dad, and love of my life. Though we were concerned for mom for a little bit of it, it was actually an enjoyable experience. James and I took care of the check. Then, my sister, James, and I went to the mall and walked around for a few hours afterward. It was great popping into the shops at a different mall than usual and spending entirely too much money.

Today, Saturday, I took a half day from work so I could go to my sister from anotha motha, Libby's, baby shower; we decorated onesies and played a couple of games and she was so stunning and it was great seeing everyone. When I got home, I went into my sister's room and asked her if she would come sit with me while I played Fable II; we set up James's X-Box 360 and sat with each other for three hours while I played, joking around and consuming Taco Bell. After, we watched episode 14 of Season 6 of The Walking Dead. WE ARE TWO EPISODES BEHIND SO NO SPOILERS PLEASE! I am texting a newer friend at the moment, and talking to my love, so I think I am going to wrap this blog up...

It has been a great few days FULL of the people that I love so much and I can't wait to experience more days with them.

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4/06/2016

(E)ngagement

In July of 2015, my fiance told me he was going to propose by the end of the month. We had countless discussions, and a few arguments, about when he would FINALLY just put a ring on my finger. I was getting impatient; we had been talking about becoming engaged for a year and he still hadn't proposed. By the 29th I didn't think it would happen; he had three days left, and I kept reminding him. He would go on "secret" adventures with his sister in order to find a ring earlier in the week, but I figured he still hadn't found one.

On July 30th, I woke up to an empty bed but noises in the kitchen. James walked in with a plate of pancakes just for me as I was checking facebook. I ate breakfast while James made pancakes for the rest of the family, then he took my plate away. When he came back he stood on my side of the bed after locking our door while I was still on Facebook and asked "How much do you love me?" I held out my arms and said "This much, but waaay more because my arms don't stretch that far. If my arms could circle the whole world, it'd be that much, but more." He said "Well, I'm gonna need your attention because I want to say something."

At this point, I put my laptop down and asked "Is this it!? This is it!? Is this happening?" He said "Yes." I said, "Do you even have a ring?" and he revealed the white ring box while on one knee. He said "Kimbra (middle) (last name), will you marry me?" I said "Yes," then "It's about damn time." He put my ring on me, which was too small at the time but still beautiful.

We had a rough moment at this point, because I was in shock and I wasn't nearly as excited as he hoped I would be. At first, I didn't like the ring; I even called it cheap. I am not heartless, I promise; I felt so, so bad once I saw the look on his face. It took me until after I showed my sister to truly appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into picking our ring. He wanted a ring that represented two people, two hearts, and one love. I apologized profusely and reassured him that I do love the ring, that he picked well, and that I was truly just shocked. It wasn't what I expected, but that doesn't mean it is not a bad ring. In fact, we still have that discussion almost a year later.

He told me later that his plan was originally going to be a bit different, but he felt that pancakes was better (since he didn't have as much money as he wanted to have), and he wanted to make me fat and happy so that I couldn't run away. I love him, I love our life, and I honestly can't wait to marry him in October of next year.

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The pancakes!

The Ring!

4/05/2016

(D)ad

I have never considered my dad to be my hero.

My dad is a number of things. An alcoholic. An occasional pain in our asses. But I have not seen him as Superman since I was a tiny wee child barely starting to walk.

When I was a kid, my dad never really knew how to dad. He didn't have a good dad growing up who showed his children how to raise children, and his dad passed away while dad was a young adult. He tried. He took my sister and I to soccer games and pulled our hair into sloppy ponytails. He took us to Six Flags and carnivals and fire work shows and birthday parties. He took us rollerblading, sometimes for eight hours with sporadic breaks. He tried his hardest while we were growing up, but he did a lot of things begrudgingly. He would rather be out drinking and feeling young. There were wrecked cars and thrown chairs and mistreatment of my mother and sister and I. Things came to a head when I was ten and my parents got their long-anticipated divorce, because my mother couldn't trust him to be alone with us. After that day, I didn't really talk to him and wasn't too interested in seeing him (even though he sent a card every year for our birthdays, sometimes sending small presents with them, and did his best to reach out to me). He moved in with his mom up north for five years and I didn't see him until the summer before my senior year in high school, when he randomly showed up on our doorstep and asked for some water.

Don't get me wrong. I have always wanted a good dad to be with me. I wanted one that would threaten to break men's bones if they broke my heart, who would be able to participate and be active through my high school career as a band nerd, and who supported my mother in whatever her true desires were. Instead, and probably for the best, I had my grandpa and two uncles for all of those things. My mother made sacrifices and when her sacrifices couldn't be made any further she asked my family for help. I loved being raised in the village of our family, but I know it would have been easier on her if my dad was a completely different person, or if she would have just remarried (alas, that was one of the sacrifices made - no romantic relationships with a man that could throw off our dynamics).

Father's Day is extremely hard for me. I used to avoid it entirely, but once dad became a more permanent fixture in our adult lives, I made it a point to do something for him at least one day a year. Taking him to a movie or to dinner is not hard... It's finding the card. The perfect card that says "Hey so I know that you're my dad and I love you and appreciate what you are able to do for us but you aren't my hero and I hope to god my future husband turns out to be nothing like you." Thankfully there is a wide variety and I usually find something that says just that after about thirty minutes and I write a small message and we're done with it. It's coming up, actually. Great.

Anyway, after he showed up, he made it a point to be present. He came over and visited, played board games and watched movies. He moved in with us off and on and ended up just staying with us after awhile, once a few housing opportunities fell through. He was present at EVERY football game and marching band competition my senior year, attending my graduation as I always wished he would. He's worked off and on and has given plenty of money into feeding himself and assisting with our groceries when we need them, using some of it on medications and doctor appointments. He cooks my sister breakfast practically every morning and cooks dinner a lot of the nights (when we have groceries in the house). One Easter, without prompting, he got us Easter candy and wrote us a nice note. He cooked for me when my ex shattered my heart into a zillion pieces, and had "the talk" with the love of my life (who actually let him know he was proposing in an attempt to get his blessing). He takes my fiance to work on my days off so that I can sleep in (in my car, of course).

I try to focus on the positive, because he has belatedly tried his damndest to do what would help us as a family and even tries to offer fatherly advice, but I am not naive enough to think that he has changed; we've had enough run ins and fights while he's drunk for me to know for a fact that he has not.My dad is not a super hero. He is not someone I ever want to model a future mate after. He is not someone that I would leave my future children alone with. Though our relationship is dysfunctional, and though we are both severely imperfect, we somehow made great leaps and bounds over the past few years and are able to at least have some semblance of something. I know I would have rather had a healthier relationship with the man who helped bring me into this world, but honestly if I had to choose someone else I wouldn't be able to. I may not want to marry someone like him, but my dad is my dad, and I want him around as long as he can be. I love him. I love that he cares about me, I love that he tries so hard to be a good person, and I love his sense of humor. I love sober-dad, and he is worth every minute I have to put up with drunk-asshole-dad.

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4/04/2016

(C)areer

This is going to be a short entry; I forgot about writing and I'm really tired from work. But here goes.

I have had several jobs (pizza girl, arts and crafts expert, teacher, receptionist, roadside assistance specialist, and now fulfillment associate). The job that I am currently working should have advancement opportunities, but I have not been able to take advantage of those; they make it extremely difficult for no reason.

I am thinking about finally returning back to school so that I can get a late start on my future. I have a variety of experiences due to my drastically different jobs, and I already have an Associates Of The Arts Degree. I plan on getting my Bachelor's Degree at least. I'll double major Creative Writing and Literature in the hopes of gaining a job in those fields.

My ultimate career goal (see!? I tied it in!) is to work for a publishing company as an editor. Or I could teach Creative Writing at the college level. I would love to do both; just need to commit to getting the schooling out of the way.

There we go. That's it for today.

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4/02/2016

(B)ooks

I have an addiction, a problem even. I mean, I guess I should be grateful that it's not to something way worse, but... it still gets bad. I am addicted to... books.

I have been obsessed with books since I was a toddler. I am told that I would have whoever was available read to me - my uncle, my parents, babysitters, grandparents, whoever. When mom was pregnant with my sister, and had a huge baby belly, mom says I would bring a book and sit on her belly in order to be read to. It continued from there with random chapter books series, and a subscription to the Magic School Bus Book Club where I got cool things in the mail from Scholastic as well as a book every month. According to Goodreads (where I have started to keep track of the books I've read/want to read/am reading), I have read 224 books; that is a very, very low estimate. I borrowed and read so many books from whoever I could - friends, family, the Library - that there is really no way for me to go back and add all of the books I've ever read. Fast forward to when I am an adult with my own job and my own money to spend as I please and... well...

I buy books with the intention of reading them. There are SO MANY that I am SO excited for that I CANNOT WAIT TO READ... and they get put off for other, newer books that I want to read. Currently I am reading four books - yes, I said four. I've been stuck on "We Are the Warriors" by Theresa Nichols Schuster (that I received as a digital copy for free in exchange for a review that I have yet to do) and "Passage" by C. Marie Bowen (I received a physical copy for free in exchange for a review) for over a year. I have been reading "Brian's Winter" by Gary Paulson off and on since December of last year. And I started "A Monster Calls" by Patrick Ness because it calls to me (I am on chapter 3 or 4 and started it last month sometime). I am working toward knocking those four books out, but then there's the rest...

My books are divided into two shelves - the books I've read are on a tall, wooden shelf, and the books I buy but have yet to read are on a smaller white shelf. Books that I read but did not like go in a box for Half Price Books, or in this case Accio Books! (which starts on the 6th of this month!). Both shelves are full, and the box is full. According to Goodreads, I have 63 books on the white shelf, none of which I have even cracked the spines. My goal is to read as many of these as possible (a feasible goal would be 10-15 of them), but every time I read one I add another two.

Though I see my book hoarding as a problem, my sister tells me there really isn't one. She said to me recently that you can't spend too much money on books; they are probably one of the few things that should never be considered too expensive. Books take me to different worlds, teach me life lessons and help me grow as a human, and help me to broaden my mind. You cannot put a price on this. This is why I love them.

Favorite Books:

- The Harry Potter Series: I grew up reading these books (age 11 through now)

- Skellig by David Almond

- The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor

- We Were Liars by E. Lockart

- I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

- Every Day by David Levithan

- Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

- Rats Saw God by Rob Thomas

(these are just a few. if I listed them all, we'd be here ALL. DAY.)

Favorite Authors:

- Maureen Johnson (Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes)

- J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter)

- John Green (Looking For Alaska, The Fault In Our Stars)

- James Patterson (Maximum Ride Series)

- Sarah Dessen (Just Listen)

- Augusten Burroughs (Running With Scissors)

- James Frey (A Million Little Pieces)

(these are just a few)

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4/01/2016

(A)ccio Books!

There is an organization called the Harry Potter Alliance that holds a book drive every year to benefit a community in need. They have built library's for schools during this drive, and this year will be no exception; the drive will benefit a school in Masaka, Uganda in Africa.

What's fun about the drive is that it is a competition - you get sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses, tally up the points based on how many books you send and what the value is per book, and add that into your House's point pool. Whichever House wins gets the House Cup. I've participated in the past and it was quite fun and fulfilling knowing that I was helping build something out of nothing.

If you are interested, feel free to visit this webpage (http://www.thehpalliance.org/accio_books) to learn more and get the address of the school in question. The drive starts on April 6th, so there is plenty of time to gather some books that are collecting dust and send them to a school in need.

<3

2/25/2016

To My Ex-Boyfriend's (Inevitable Future) New Partner

When you first see him, he will be the quiet man in the corner, observing everything around them. Or he could be talking to someone he knows. His smile, though it is shown rarely, will reel you in. The way he speaks, his mannerisms, how smart he is and how much he knows will ensnare you. You will want to know him more. His thoughts on religion and politics and the world around you will sound like the truth, because he is that good at making arguments.

You will start dating, and he will tell you that unless you are friends with his friends you will not be able to start a relationship. So you will go with him and meet all of the people that you need to impress and get along with, because it will never be just him. He has several of them, and even if they aren't close to him it doesn't matter - they are his friends, so you must make them like you within that first meeting. Or that's how he will make you feel. But I promise he will change his mind; he will decide that isn't good enough and that he wants his friends all to himself.

He will decide which friends of yours you can see; if they are an ex, you better not see them unless he is there. But he can go see his whenever he wants. If it is a guy friend, he is encroaching on his territory and you better not see him until your boyfriend is there. You will maybe see your other friends five or six times in the total of your relationship, only when you're not going to see his.

His family dynamics are kind of a mess but once you navigate it you should be fine. Good luck finding out anything about their past, though, because he will guard that secret until you find out from another family member instead of him. He will get angry that you asked them.

He has a secret that he will wait until nine months to tell you, mainly because he didn't want to trust you but does now. Apart of it is that he knows you're already in love, so you won't leave him. He will treat you worse after you know, even though he was the one that decided to tell you.

Your opinions will cease to matter, no matter what it is about. That movie you've been watching for years? It's utter garbage and he's not interested in it. That TV show that you watch? It's boring. That book you're reading? He doesn't care about it. You want to go home instead of hang out with his friends for another few hours? You're staying, and you're stuck because he drove - if you argue, he will chastise you about how you embarrassed him in front of his friends, then get mad when you apologize to all of them for the display you made. You want your sibling to join you on an outing he is planning with his friends? He will glare at them until they change their mind. You want a night in with him? He will convince you to go out because that's the only way he will ever spend time with you. You're in another state and want to drive home that day so that you can be home for something important? He will choose for you that you are staying because he wants to stay and so does everyone else (even though they are impartial) and even though it's your family car that you drove in you will stay. You know something about music that you've been listening to for almost a decade? He will try to convince you that it is a different band and make you show him at the source that it is them.

Eventually things that you weren't even around for will be your fault. Your cat scratches his nephew? You should have been home to prevent it instead of at work - and don't bother asking why his family is at your mom's house without an invitation from you because he has stuff there so it makes it his, too. Know what, everything is eventually going to be your fault. I hope you're ready to accept the blame.

Every time you get upset he will turn it around to look like you are being ridiculous and that really you are blowing this thing out of proportion. You would have rather gone here instead of there with him in tow? Well that's your fault for going along in the first place. He went to his ex's (that he still has feelings for) and was there alone with her in the house? Nothing happened so why are you mad in the first place. After awhile you won't have the energy to fight, and that's how he wants it.

He will make you pay for almost everything; dinners out, his Hebrew lessons that he decided to drop, a chiropractor that he hasn't gone to in three months, movies, items from Conventions, other things for his enjoyment. Your money is no longer yours, and when you remind him that you earn every penny of that money that has been supporting him he will say "fine" and stop talking to you for hours.

Wedges will be drawn between your family and you. Your friends will get tired of hearing "No I can't go out I'm sorry" and eventually stop asking altogether. Your thoughts will be his thoughts and his opinions will be your opinions. He will make you forget who you are; there will be all of him and nothing left of you. You will not recognize yourself.

He will break up with you after a dumb fight. He will make you sleep there with him because he drove you, and in the morning he will apologize and make everything seem okay again. You will stay with him because you love him, but he will do it a second time, the cycle repeating itself.

He will leave you because he can't stand another person knowing so much about his past, about himself, about his inner workings. You will come home to your mother's house to find his things (and a couple of your things that he claimed) gone. He will blame it all on something arbitrary that you did. It will all be your fault. He will cut you out of his life, and pit you against his friends.

You will have to spend years putting yourself back together and repairing the relationships that have been severed. It will take months of therapy for you to regain much of what you lost.

Good luck putting your life back together. You will need it.