Janice's journey

This biography is made based on the diary of a young woman who lived in many years in Denmark before she went on a holiday at her birthmother’s county. Her values and morale is based on her upbringing in Denmark which some might consider offending. However in order to truly understand how she experienced her stay in the United States the cultural influences has to be considered a major contributor to her choices both before, under and after her stay.

Second the names of individual youth transport firms, wilderness programs and boarding schools are not mentioned. It is not a question about being for or against various companies offering emotional growth. It is strictly a story about how Janice as she has chosen to call herself experienced a number of incidents which left life changing marks on her adult life.

This biography is co-authored because Janice wanted to have her story published in both Danish and English.


22. An unexpected surprise

I remember it like yesterday. I sat at the computer in the class room when Goodwin called me from the door. It was quite unusual for him to participate in daily operations unless you had done something terrible wrong. He called me with anger in his voice and asked me to follow him. I was almost about to pee your pants just due to nervousness. Which rule I had broken? How long should I be on level Zero this time?


I was led into the main building and was told to sit in an empty office. I do not know how long I had been sitting there when the door opened. Suddenly Goodwin, my father and an older man I had seen together with my father with a few times stood in front of me.


I was speechless! My father here! What had happened? Father pushed Goodwin aside and hugged me. "Janice. My darling! What had they been doing to you?" Goodwin cleared his throat and said that he had an envelope with my passport and my papers. We had 10 minutes to leave the school premises. Otherwise, they would call the police and we would be arrested for trespassing. There was no time to collect personal items from the dormitory and actually I had nothing that I would like to bring along. We left and entered into a car my father had rented. It was like a dream and I had to make sure that I wasn’t asleep when we drove away from the school.


When we entered the high way Dad started talking. He had received my letter and he could not understand the part about me participating in a wilderness program. Shortly after I had left for my holiday he receiced a letter from my mother where she stated that I wanted to spend a year going to a high school in the States. He believed that it was me who wanted this and he had no idea that I had been forced to remain in the States. He stated that was he was sorry that he hadn’t figured out that the letters were lies and he also excused that he had been spending time at the local bar instead of home.  The other man in the car was “The Writer” as he was called. “The Writer” was a former lawyer who used to practice in the southern part of Sealand. Due to some transactions involving money from clients he had been disbarred. He changed career to real estate where many former lawyers work due to the ethical requirements of the profession being not so high. Now he had retired and spent almost all his time at the bar where my father also was customer.


When the father received my letter from the boarding school he realized that something was wrong. He believed that I went to a regular high school and not a school for so-called at-risk teenagers. He made contact to my mother who claimed that he very well had been aware of her choice because he apparently had accepted her choices. That part he couldn’t understand because his computer had been unused for months and when he turned it on the mail account was empty.


He had custody and he told her that he would travel to the States to collect me and return with me to Denmark.  She made kinds of threats, but they were really without substance because she had signed her parental rights over to my father when they divorced. She could only challenge this agreement if she took him to court in Denmark.


Together with his friend who had a network of lawyers in the States he could make use of if problems should turn up traveled to Utah where they showed up at the boarding school without warning. Goodwin had been surprised and angry, but there was nothing he could do. He had to release me and right away to avoid being sued for kidnapping. He had made the mistake not to make sure that my mother had custody. He was in violation with the law if he insisted keeping me at the school.


We drove to St. George and took a flight to New York. Here we stayed at a hotel in Midtown and I quickly bought new clothes so I didn’t have to spend another minute in the school uniform. The next morning we flew back to Copenhagen. After 5 months in the United States I was back in Denmark. I had gotten my life back. Now my only concern was my future with John.

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