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.


24. The next years in Denmark

John’s betrayal robbed me what was left of my childhood’s innocence. I spoke with a counselor at school. Since I had been truant for a lot of days I got permission to retake the classes I had missed. I was not in the mood to bond with people so I became somewhat of a nerd. My plans had been to take a year at a local school for those who had no plans in life or just wanted a plain job in a supermarket or a burger bar. Then we got a letter from a lawyer in Denmark my mother had hired.


He wrote that my mother would start a custody case unless I went to a Christian boarding school in Denmark she had been recommended. They arranged bible camps during the summer holidays and every day was started singing various hymns. It was not as strict as the boarding school in the United States. I was only required to stay at the school for 10 weekends during the school year. Otherwise I was free to spend the weekends with my father.


It was not the kind of plans for my future I was very fond off. I got a depression and saw a doctor. He gave me medication and wrote my parents that the boarding school was out of the picture until my health improved. He diagnosed with me with both depression and posttraumatic stress disorder whatever it was.


My parents came to an agreement. My stay at the boarding school was postponed for one year.


Then late August 2007 a boat from the boarding school got into trouble and a number of students had to be rescued by a ferry which happened to see them by chance. The boat had no radio so the student could have died. The school was heavily fined when the case went to court. The news of the risky business the boarding school ran made my father so angry that he wrote my mother that she could take him into court any time and he would fight her every inch of the way.


My mother most has realized that she had a poor chance winning the custody case; In any case the letters from her lawyer stopped. My grades had improved so much that I decided to enter high school just to prove to my mother I could do it. 3 years it took. 3 years fueled by a combination of anger, determination and hard work. Because I lived in a residential neighborhood and had no persons with an academically background in my family The Writer became my mentor despite the fact that he seldom was sober.


I succeed taking the High School exam. It was a personal victory. But it was an empty victory. For what use could I make of the exam. Shortly after my exam I got a job in the local supermarket.


It was not long after my graduation that I moved into my own apartment. My father continued to drink alcohol and was drunk most of the week. I guess that he properly felt guilt due to the fact that he failed to act when I was in trouble in the United States. Despite working among great colleagues who invited me into town after work a number of times I was still not ready to establish a close relationship with other people. Slowly I settled into a rather isolated life. It was the damage inflicted upon me during my stay at the wilderness program and boarding school. I was stuck between two cultures.


A year ago, I received a thick package from the United States. It contained my journals from the wilderness program and the boarding school. First, I was keen on throwing them out, but then I realized that I could only confront my past by starting to write about it and the journals became a vital source of information for my story. It was as my brain had hidden parts of my experiences from me to shield me. The journals proved to me that many of the nightmares I had suffered from since I returned to Denmark were based on something real.

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