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.


3. The early years.

I was born in Denmark. My father is from Denmark and my mother from the United States. She came to Denmark because she got a good job at the former Sheraton Hotel in Copenhagen. They married and bought a house in the Danish town Hillerod north of Copenhagen. I remember the time as very good. I had very many friends in the Kindergarten and at the school.


But then my father experienced a work related accident which crippled him so he couldn’t continue with his old line of work. We had to move to an area closer to Copenhagen where the income needed for housing isn’t that high. It took its toll on my parents’ marriage and in the end they divorced. The hotel was sold to another chain and my mother decided to move back to the states. Because I have been living all my life in Denmark they decided to let me stay with my father.


I had difficulties adjusting to the life in what some would regard as social housing. My friends came from a totally different background and because I tried to fit in my behavior changed. Some might call it a sub-culture where everyone out there watched each other’s back against the police and the social services. It was tough times but not nearly as bad as today where criminal gangs have taken over and shootings and weapons are everyday life.


Years went by and I found myself being 15 years of age. The apartment where I was supposed to live was only a place for me to sleep. While we always were on good terms he had plenty of problems of his own to manage me. I had to take care of myself. After the seventh form it was clear that I would never make it through high school. The path laid out in front of me was business school and a job in a supermarket. I had no ambitions but just wanted to live from day to day.


My lack of goals in life and my grades in school was not something my mother was fond of. She really wanted me to take the High school exam. But school was of no interest for me. My life was filled with friends, parties and latest my boyfriend which I will choose to call John. We were together all the time and I often slept at his place which my father did choose to accept. When my mother learned of John she exploded. My father told her to forget it. He had the custody of me. She had elected to leave and he was in charge.


Then she offered that I could go to live with her and spend a year in a high school in her town. Due to the strict requirements to the curriculum in Danish Schools made by the Danish department of education I could not transfer credits back to Denmark but as she told me it would be a nice change for me to experience something new. I was tempted but it would mean that I would leave my boyfriend behind so I declined as politely as I could.


Then she offered that I could spend the summer holidays at her place if I got good grades, which I accepted. I passed my exams with an average C – almost D. She sounded like she accepted that it was a good result.


So June 2006 I left for a holiday or at least so I believed.

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