I grew up in a suburb 20k north of the Danish capital Copenhagen with my parents, an older sister and a younger brother. It was a great place to grow up with open fields, lakes, etc. The first 11-12 years of my life was trouble free – enjoying school and always playing football. Then my brother died after a period of time in and out of hospitals and things started to down spiral. My parents got divorced – my father moved to another town and I moved with my mother and sister to an apartment in the other end of town. My mother and sister were seldom home so I had to do most things myself growing up (too) quickly. I didn't know at the time but I'm sure I felt let down and to prevent repetition later in life I buried all my emotions and avoided committing to other people (including later to girlfriends).
At the same time I got knee injury so I could no longer play football – quickly I lost a large part of my social network as football had been most of my life until then. To stay in touch with the club I became a football coach for young kids and even though it was interesting (and maybe sparked my interest in leadership) it wasn't the same. Unable to do exercise I also gained some weight which had a negative impact on my self confidence.
Primary school was still easy for me and I liked it - maybe because it was one of my few fixed points in life. However, by mistake I went to high school in stead of business college and my performance went down in line with lack of interest. At this time my identity was gone – no football and no longer best in school. I started hanging out with people having some flaw to their character; but trying to create a new identity for myself it seemed less important.
Being introvert I really didn't like the attention that came along with all these changes and so I (unconsciously) started changing my character to extrovert – being the class clown always pretending to be happy prevented intrusive questions and comments. I also started drinking heavily at any given occasion – maybe to forget all my misery and/or because I felt it was prestigious to be able to drink the most – part of creating a new identity?! One of the good things about high-school was that I got many new friends which made it fairly easy to get rid of the "friends" with flaws.
All this happened in a time when many things were still taboo in Denmark -at least where I came from. I had nobody to talk to about my situation as I didn't know anybody whose parents were divorced, whose sibling died, who was overweight and who lost many of their friends by coincidence – and for all these reasons was drinking too heavily. In all this mess I fortunately had very strong values knowing what was right and wrong as well as my beloved grand mother to keep me (somewhat) on the right track and to lean on when things were difficult.
After high-school I (finally) went to business college and I also got my first own apartment in Copenhagen (see section on My home town) - and from there things started to change for the better. I got in an interesting and very social class and I was again best in class. I remember these years as some of the best in my youth - easy, carefree and fun. The same thing happened when I later got a job as an auditor and when I went back to business school to study full time (See section on Career).
It was a different story family-wise. Some years before my mother found a new guy but as he believed to be my new father I left home to live with a girlfriend. As I didn't like him I avoided family gatherings and seldom saw my family for the next two decades until my mother finally split up with him. During this period my mother often wanted to explain what happened in my childhood but I wasn't interested – it was a buried chapter of my life. Not until I – as part of my personal development – realised that I had to do it for me – not for her. After some emotional and mutually beneficial conversations we now have a very good relationship. Unfortunately, I never had this conversation with my father before he died much too young in 1998.
When I was younger I had a number of shorter relationships but from age 23 I have had two longer relationships - one 6½ years and the other 11 years. They were both amazing girls but my childhood issues (unconsciously) prevented me from really committing myself. Children was a topic in both relationships, but I didn't feel ready - hindsight I think I was scared that the relationship would fail and the kids would have divorced parents - having tried it I didn't want my kids to experience the same. Of course it's an irrational feeling but nevertheless kids are the biggest commitment in life. In the end both relationships ended because I was afraid of commitment and because we wanted different things in life.
After the last relationship I have focused on insight and personal development (see Previous trips) and at the same time I have travelled extensively - neither have left room for getting a girlfriend. At the moment I feel I have so many things in my life that it's not relevant, but then again things like that tend to happen when least expecting it - time will tell.....