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.


25. Epilogue

Many years later I can look at the wall in my living room and see the high school diploma I obtained. It looks fine on the wall but I have no use for it. I want to ask: What if? What if this had not happened to me? What I had continued my life as it was in the social housing project? Would I have been totally without education and on welfare benefits instead of having a steady job?


I cannot answer this. I have tried to write my story without sounding like a victim. I made poor choices before I went to the United States. I accept some responsibility for acting truant. However I don’t see the punishment suiting my poor choices.


Are there any villains in this story? Most of the people are actually people who believe that they are doing a good deed. My mother thought that I would be healed. Angela, Chelsea and Joe conduct their work to save children - The young guides on the wilderness program and Albert from the boarding school properly the same. The doctors thought I was a drug addict who had hidden contrabands on my person. It is not only in the U.S. that people are subjected to body cavity searches. Inmates in Danish prisons may also be subjected to testing if the employees believe it.


But the problem was that young people are misunderstood - both in the U.S. and Denmark. I should never have been sent to the boarding school or the wilderness program. In Denmark the newspapers are full of articles about young people in need of treatment who ends up in group homes where they are exposed to abuse or violence by the employees because the group homes mix hardened criminals with teenagers in need of treatment. I can mention group homes like “Herkules”, “Schubert Minde” and “Solhaven”. Yet ill young sent to such places because of failure of social workers or and other bureaucrats. My mother paid for treatment and I got something resembling a boot camp.


The wilderness program is closed today. A boy hanged himself, but the owners stated that it was the economic crisis and bullying on social networks like Facebook and various websites from young people who had attending the wilderness program who closed it. We are some who knows that truth.


The boarding school still exists. A boy died out there because that was too far to the hospital and later a bush fire threatened the school so they were close to evacuating the place with helicopters. It became too dangerous to run the school so far from the town, so they built a new campus closer to Hurricane. They also changed the admission criteria, so the program is not so strict. It is less a prison and more a boarding school. Goodwin's father lost his status in the media industry when he offered a former singer to help her son. After the son came home he committed suicide because of the memories from the program.


I found Miriam on Facebook. She told her parents no longer work in the industry because there due to the economic crisis. Fewer parents choose to send their children to wilderness programs and boarding schools. Angela took a job as a bus driver in La Verkin and Chelsea is a kind of social worker in Hurricane. They are not even on the web.


Lindsay continued to live in Los Angeles. She has two children with Jose. He is in prison and she visits him as often as she can. She works in a kind of salon with hair and manicure. Her aunt looks after the children. She says she's happy with her life. She is starting to bond with her parents.


Misha graduated the wilderness program. Instead of returning to her old school she went to a boarding school in Vermont. She returned back home when the school closed abruptly after a scandal in involving some girls sleeping with an employee. She currently works as a clerk and is single. Mickey works part time as a bartender and musician in New York. Robert, I have not been unable to locate.


Father got stuck in his life. When his responsibilities as a father for me stopped he was free to hang out with his friends down the bar. It's hard to see the person that you admired throughout your childhood end up like this. He still feels guilty because it took so long for him to discover how I had been mistreated in the States.


John continues to live together with his wife in the social housing project. John is not his real name and the reason for me not to write it is that John's siblings are a part of a gang. They have a lot of weapon and are not of afraid of killing people. He committed identity theft when he hacked my father's mail, but the crime cannot be detected. In 2006 there was no legislation demanding logs, any evidence of his intrusion is gone. My mother had copies of emails, but I have not had contact with her since my father rejected her.


I do not think I will ever visit Clara City again. Maybe for a funeral, but I doubt that I will be invited. All contact stopped in 2007, not just from my mother, but her entire family. I have been abandoned by them and I'm fine with the present situation.


I often think about whether Albert was right. Have I made my own little jail based on my social background? In Denmark your social heritage matters more than in most countries. If parents have an academically background the children are more likely to achieve an academically background. It is actually the reason for a society with little crime and stability. When we are born we know that it will not aid us trying to reach out for the stars. If we choose the path lined out for us by birth so to say life will be good. I am happy with my job and my life. I only wish that I would dare to drink more and hang out with my colleagues more so I also could be drunk every Friday and Saturday and free myself from the emotional harness my experiences in the States have provided me with. I want to be a normal Dane and not some kind of Cyborg pieces together from two cultures.


I really don’t want to have ambitions in life because I know what kind of person I can be if I decided to let ambitions run my life. The reality is that I destroyed Robert at the wilderness program. The rational part of my mind tells me that it wasn’t Robert who hanged himself at the wilderness program because it doesn’t fit in the timeline. However my guilty conscience continues to hunt me. I don’t want to be a person ready to sacrifice another person for personal gain but I became such a person while I was at the wilderness program. Was it my wish for survival which brought me to such extremes or is it just how I am as a person if I really want something?


I am so sorry for my actions and that is why I never can fulfill the potentials others might believe that I contains. I let myself be something that I didn’t want to be. That is why I have chosen to live a simple life serving a simple job with no ambitions. It is what makes me happy.


I hope that you have been patient enough to read the story of my life so far to the end. I apologize for possible typos.


-- THE END --

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