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.


9. Jumping from the frying pan into the fire

I woke by the warm of the sunlight. Angela came into the room and told me that we had the entire morning to relax because the wilderness program was unable to take me until afternoon. She allowed me have the all the restraints off in return for me promising that I wouldn’t run. It was an easy promise because I body hurt from spending 48 hours shackled. It would have been impossible for me to run even if they whipped me. The breakfast was served outside on a small porch.


Angela felt that she to explain me as foreigner that Utah is a special state. In fact it is the private juvenile detention state in the United States. As a teenager you are not allowed to use tobacco, drugs and even alcohol. Coffee was not very accepted due to the caffeine in it but as she told me a little sin sometime is necessary to wake your conscience as she stated. She also warned me against trying to escape. If I saw them as strict then it was nothing compare with the methods the police used in this state. To this day I am not sure whether she lied but Loa was a small town in the middle of nowhere and the town did very much rely on boarding schools and wilderness programs so everybody would properly turn me – a foreigner – in.


We sat on the porch for a half hour before a man came. He presented himself as Joe. First he kissed Angela, then Chelsea. I was stunned when they presented him as their husband. He had a farm up in another town called Virgin (I believed the name was a joke) however the dry climate made it difficult to run a farm with profit so his wives ran the youth transport firm. I later learned that it was normal for women to stay at home but I guess that the need to pay the rent may force anyone to make compromises. (Back home in Denmark I also learned that it is forbidden to have more than one wife but compromises sometime are reached when living out in the desert as they did on their farm.)


We talked for some time and they were really nice people working in a not so nice business when you are a teenager as I was then. We also had lunch at the porch. It seemed to be a nice day after all. But it was time for me to go down to the office of the wilderness program to be enrolled. Their office was in a red side building connected to a large white main building just down the street so Angela walked me down there. Just before we arrived she asked me to stop so she could handcuff me because it would odd if I came voluntary when the papers stated that I was a serious flight risk. Knowing her a little better I trusted her enough to let her handcuff me without protests. We entered the building where a woman presented herself as Nicole.


The handcuffs came off and I said goodbye to Angela. Nicole asked me to follow her into a room where two other women waited. They said that they had to do a medical exam so they could determine whether I could enter the wilderness without risking injury or even death. It sounded very serious so I took the jumpsuit off when they asked me to undress.


But the jumpsuit wasn’t enough. I had to get all the clothes off – also my underwear. I protested and Nicole grabbed my arm and twisted it behind my back. I screamed because it hurt. I pleaded with her and promised to take all my clothes off. I was crying as I lost all part of my decency undressing in front of three women I had never met before. I was measured in height and weighed. Blood pressure was also taken and I even had to give them a blood sample while tears ran down over my face due to shame I felt. 


But it was not over. Nicole suspected that I was hiding contraband inside my body. They wanted to check. I tried to run towards the door but they stopped me and dragged me over to a table where they held me down spreading my legs apart. I will never forget the sound of latex gloves being put on. She moved in and began to check me in an area so private that I have difficulties even to write about it. It hurt a lot or maybe the pain combined with the shock of being violated in manner where words don’t cover the feeling at all made the situation unbearable. I screamed and pleaded them to stop.


Nicole ordered me to shut up. “You had things up there before according to our information. Don’t come here and play an innocent virgin. We know about your boyfriend and what you did in Minneapolis. We are not falling for your lies!” How could they know anything about the things which happened while I was on the run? I had only written about them in my letters to John. Had the police interviewed some of the teenagers I hang out with?


The examination took an eternity. In the end the nurse stated that I was empty which seemed to have caught them by surprise. When she released me I was on the verge of collapse and he had to support me over to a table where they had put the new clothes I should wear in the field.


I could see that the clothes were very suited for hiking; Solid boots and all. When I had been dressed they handcuffed me on my back and guided me out to a van. In the back of the van there were special seats where I could sit while I handcuffed. Later research taught me that it was a restraint chair normally used in prisons. I got no less than two seatbelts on and finally a blindfold so I could see where the van drove me. It would make it more difficult to escape from the wilderness as they told me.


The van started and we drove against an unknown destiny.

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