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.
It brings back a difficult time for me. Of course I could have found another job in Copenhagen. It was before Denmark took such a hard stand on visas. Maybe I could have stayed but the marriage took a toll on me. I was tired of the fighting. Your father had a hard time accepting his condition after his accident. As I wrote in my previous post he became a difficult man to live with.
I often question my decision to leave you with him but in my heart I know that it would have killed him if I took you with me. And what kind of life could I offer? A year or two living at various places while I turned a hotel around? Then there were your grandparents and friends. I believed that you would continue to live in Hilleroed.
When I heard that you moved I had no idea that it was to a social housing project. It was never brought to my attention. Surely I would have stepped in securing you from I consider a damaging situation.
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.
I have to assure you that I would have gone back at once demanding custody if I had learned sooner how you lived. I was shocked when I realized that you were very much on your own. I realized that there are many places here in the United States where children seem to have been born to live their adult life in prisons but I also believe that it is excuses. Everybody have their own future in their hand. Everyone can decide whether to turn right or left when they leave their house in the morning.
You were 15 when you told me in a letter about your boyfriend. It was then I decided to save you. I understood that your lack of motivation was result of your upbringing and the laidback approach to life Danes in general seem to suffer from. I believe that it is grossly error which could make your life kind of wasted. I believe that you should reach out for your full potential and I continue to believe it even now where I realize that I have no more saying in what you decide in life.
What I found very shocking was you lack of urge for adventure. When I was a child looking over fields as far as I could see I had this urge to see the world. This urge for adventure took me through high school and all over the world. Had I settled in Clara City I would never have been Europe, Asia other places in the States as I did. I don’t know how the Danish system managed to kill this in you. I don’t understand how you became raised to view this small country as the world. I believed that I granted you an opportunity with a year in our high school. I know that there are Danish families out there who save 10,000 dollars or more for such a year and I could give it to you for free.
However, I am no longer disappointed in what you have achieved. I feel resigned and somewhat that I have undergone a process of detachment. I don’t feel that I can do more for you and I am trying hard not to blame myself on past errors because none of us can go back.
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.
When I offered you the holiday it was not a strategy where I intended to keep you. I can assure you that. I believed that I might be able to persuade you and you just needed to get away from your father. Of course it fits badly when I stated above that I decided to save you.
But I believed that you would change your mind once you came to Clara City and took a tour at our high school. They have so many activities after school and I believed that it was the step to take to bring you out of your comfort zone.
I am not entirely happy with the events which took place later but at the time I had not made other plans but to introduce you to the wonderful academically atmosphere we offer our high school students.