The dream that became true
The route from total self destruction to strength and hope for the future was long and full of efforts for Fredrik Björkmann Johansen. His story is about dreams and hard drawbacks. And how a welfare officer who believed in Fredrik made all the difference.
At first the young man in front of us seemed a bit nervous facing of the big audience in that large university hall. But at the same time he seemed committed to what he was doing there and determined to tell us something. In the program his title was “learner”.
He started his story with a recollection of himself seven years ago in a hospital bed somewhere in Norway. Exhausted physically and mentally after years of drug abuse, had hurt himself and people around him. To the audience in the university hall in Riga he reflected about the earlier speaker had mentioned about barriers for learning. One barrier he had seen was that many professionals in the in the field think that they work for the learner instead of together with the learner.
How high is the threshold for learning?
Fredrik’s view was that the threshold is individual. The important thing is that you meet the learner-to-be. And that the learner starts to the work towards getting included in normal life – whatever that is. Crucial here is to have a dream. Fredrik’s dream was to become something – a teacher – and to have a girl friend. The dream doesn’t happen unless you are ready to plan for reaching it and work really hard. Counsellors can support by believing in their clients and in helping them in believe in themselves. Be stubborn and don’t let the petty hardships take you. Ignore them and go on, was Fredrik’s advice.
Crash and a stubborn crawl upwards
There are many difficulties to tackle if you want to start from the beginning with a ruined economy and depending on public subsidies for your personal life. Fredrik applied for financing for his four years of teacher training from a public office. This involved many bureaucrats and he had to participate in “the big meeting about me”. He got a negative answer. This was a terrible blow and almost made him crash again. But he refused to give up. He went to another office in another town and they said YES. This was the happiest moment in his life. The officer promised that she would do everything to support him as long as he would do everything to become a teacher. They had an agreement and an OK for four years of studies!
Fredrik reached both his goals. He came to Riga as a teacher for adults and was accompanied with his girlfriend. My earlier problems are my resources for the future, he concluded.