At the end of my junior year in high school, my dad lost his battle with cancer. While my mom did her best to raise those of us living at home, I used tragedy as an excuse to leap further off a spiritual cliff. My spiral turned into a self-centered crusade for attention, and I treated everyone like garbage — with very few exceptions.
I grew up in the Midwest, the fifth of six kids in a strong LDS family. My dad became the first stake president of an area that encompassed a good chunk of Minnesota and Wisconsin. My older three brothers served missions. And then there was me — a strong-willed punk who didn't respond well to the family's long ecclesiastical shadow.
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