I am the first child born into a very normal family, with a mother and a father
Until age 5, I experience a happy childhood together with my brother. I feel safe at home, in kindergarten, at school and at soccer practice.
At age 6, the separation of my parents hurts me deeply; we live with our mother and see our father every second weekend.
At age 10, my father has another daughter with his new wife.
At age 13, my mother sends me to a support-group to help me deal with the tragic passing of my beloved grandmother.
At age 16, I enjoy partying, start to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol at parties. To explore my sexuality, I make out with girls.
At age 16, my mother is not thrilled about me being bisexual and accuses my first girlfriend of having a bad influence on me.
Falls Church High School, United States
At age 16, I am an exchange student in white, suburban Virginia and feel comfortable in my new situation. I enjoy sports, partying, and smoke weed which I get from my 13-year-old host-brother who is dealing weed.
Taco Bell, Falls Church, United States
From age 16, I smoke weed and tell myself daily that it's just a plant and not a hard drug.
At age 17, back in Norway, I continue smoking weed for the coming half year, until I am introduced to hard drugs at parties.
At age 17, my mother sends me to stay with my father and I instead go stay with either my girlfriend, friends or my dealer. My grades in school start to go down.
At age 18, I get arrested for the first time for being high and possession of drugs, and overdose on GHB.
At age 18, I fail to show up at my final exams after my arrest the night before and my mother starts to realise the extent of my addiction. I don't see myself as a junkie – I don’t shoot heroin. I am allowed to continue living with my Mum if I agree to see a drug counsellor.
Orlando, United States
At age 19, I go back to the US to work at Disney World's Norwegian-themed attraction, start using crack and trade sex for drugs.
Orlando Intl Airport, Orlando, United States
At age 20, my employer discovers crack in my locker. My visa gets cancelled, and I am forced to leave the US within 48 hours. Back home in Norway, my mother refuses to take me in.
At age 20, I move in with a 40-year-old Serbian dealer who has ties to an influential underworld family, and become hooked on him and his drugs
At age 20, the Serbian guy gives me and the 14-year-old girl, who also lives with him, our first shot of heroin, so as not to waste it by smoking it. We live with him and in exchange for sex, we get unlimited access to weed, coke, heroin and money.
De Wallen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
At age 20, I am addicted to heroin and feel seen, respected and taken care of by the Serbian guy. On several occasions when travelling together, us girls are having fun, are aware that we are smuggling drugs for him, but unaware of the implications. We witness his cruelty towards people owing him money.
Restaurant, Strømmen, Norway
At age 21, I work as a waitress and beg my mother for help, who sends me away when I'm high. My father caves in and helps me, after I mention that otherwise I will have to sell my body. Because my father never turns me away, my little stepsister sees me high and tells her mother. As a result, my dad loses custody of her for a couple of years.
Bø i Telemark, Norway
At age 22, to please my parents and drug counsellor, I agree to go to rehab for the first time and get kicked out after six months for faking my urine samples. Back in Oslo, I overdose on heroin and am mad at the ambulance workers for giving me an antidote, which saves my life but causes immediate withdrawal symptoms.
Tyrilisenteret, Skien, Norway
At age 22, I am diagnosed for the first time, with emotionally unstable personality disorder (EUPD) in one treatment centre, and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) in another. As I am not clean, I am not considered for treatment, and the diagnosis are potentially wrong.
Universitetssykehus, Nordbyhagen, Norway
At age 23, in Oslo, I am homeless and repeatedly overdose. My drug counsellor forces my admission to hospital, where my hepatitis C is treated. After repeated chaotic episodes related to drugs and fighting with guards, I end up in the psychiatric ward, strapped to a bed.
At age 23, I find myself in a cycle of forced admissions, drug benders and overdoses. I escape to Copenhagen, am detained in Sweden, and end up back in Oslo’s streets.
At age 23, my main motivation to enter rehab again and again, is to get food and rest.
Between age 25 and 26, I start to see myself as a drug addict when I run out of other modes of addiction to look down on. Voluntarily I get treatment and am clean for a year. I move to another city, follow the treatment plan and get my high school diploma.
At age 26, I have a girlfriend who has nothing to do with drugs and who trusts me. I start to have contact with my family again and start climbing, which gives me the same adrenaline rush as being on drugs.
At age 26, I apply for the military force and truthfully answer questions about my drug use: a “yes” for having had used drugs before and mentioning that I am clean for two years and am told I will have to undergo some physical tests.
At age 26, I train hard for the military test and am told the evening before, that a mistake has been made and I will not be allowed to do the exam. Instead, I successfully apply for a care nurse-education.
At age 26, I live in a permanent rush by splitting my life between school, work, my girlfriend and my own home. My drug counsellor warns me that this is too much for me to handle.
At age 26, to escape the constant pressure of my schedule, I carefully plan a shot of heroin. At this point I am clean for 2 years.
At age 26, my girlfriend finds me with a needle in my arm and leaves me, I keep falling asleep during lectures from being on heroin and after a while, quit school. Everything I have built over the last 2 years takes 2 months to collapse.
At age 27, I take more drugs then ever before, overdose 4 times a week, and suffer for having chosen drugs over my relationship and my new, clean, life.
Sykehuset, Nordbyhagen, Norway
At age 27, after waking up in hospital to yet another forced admission, I accept that I never will be clean and lose all hope.
At age 27, I start to get clean with some special attention from a kind nurse at rehab. Motivated, I move on to Oslo for voluntary treatment. After a while I escape, relapse, feel depressed and hit rock-bottom again.
Between age 28 to 30, I become aggressive from Benzos. One time I strangle my mother, another time I try to rob two women at the ATM. After being caught shoplifting, I threaten and stab an employee with a used needle, claiming it to be infected with HIV and Hepatitis C.
At age 29, my lawyer applies for 3 years in ND (a Court Supervised Narcotics Program in Norway) instead of a prison sentence. There, the focus turns out to be on monitoring instead of helping addicts and fail to meet their demands and appointments for drug tests and therapy. They end my participation in the program and ask for a new trial.
Brugata, Oslo, Norway
At age 29, I experience anxiety attacks, cut off all contact with my friends from the drug-scene, and blame myself for how my life has turned out. Hating myself, I start to use again and overdose multiple times.
At age 30, my sentence is changed to 6 months in prison, and shortly before I leave for prison, I meet a girl who accepts me for who I am and is willing to wait for me.
Ravneberget fengsel, Sarpsborg, Norway
At age 30, I use the time here to reflect, pick up the contact with my family again, and feel motivated by the life awaiting me after release. I feel as if this could work out.
The conceptual architecture of TBDWBAJ is based on the investigation of various social spaces,
isolated space, cultural space, public space and virtual space. Each of these rooms describes a
phase of the project and takes on a different perspective.