Will I ever see my girl again?

I resided with my father, stepmother, and stepbrother. Upon completing ninth grade, I immediately joined the workforce. In 2015, I got married and moved out, renting a place with my then-husband.

I became a full-time housewife after the birth of our daughter, and to supplement our income, I started an online shop selling cosmetics and baby products.

Sadly, my marriage was riddled with conflict, and in 2018 my husband took our daughter and severed all contact with me, my family, and my friends. He subsequently filed for divorce unilaterally and gained custody of our girl.

Following my separation, I began a new relationship and moved in with my boyfriend and his roommates. However, this relationship also soured, resulting in me moving out. In 2021, a friend of my ex-boyfriend asked me to temporarily store some items at my place until he could collect them. He didn’t clarify what the items were, and I didn’t ask for details. On the evening of April 9, 2021, this friend reached out to me to pick up an item that another individual would later retrieve. However, when I went to get it, I was unexpectedly arrested by the police. During this arrest, I endured physical assault from a female and male police officer in a secluded spot for over 10 minutes.

At that time, I had no idea what was happening.

Other officers arrived and said they would search my home where they found powdery substances. Up until that time, I still had no knowledge that they were drugs, and I told the police the same thing. Later, when I was taken to the police station, they said they tested the substances and confirmed it was heroin. That was when I found out that there was a pack of drugs in the black box I picked up that evening.

In my statement, there were items added by the police that I never actually said. After recording my statement, they asked for my signature. I didn’t scrutinize it thoroughly due to fear and confusion at the moment. It was only when I received my case documents and reviewed them that I understood what had transpired and noticed discrepancies between my statement and the recorded version. However, after consulting with a lawyer, they explained the sentencing guidelines and potential imprisonment duration if I pleaded guilty or went to trial and lost.

Each morning, I would wake up feeling as though I was still dreaming, but the daily routine in prison served as a harsh reminder of my reality.

Knowing this made me fearful and uncertain about going to trial. I was arrested on the spot, and drugs were found in my home. This made me feel that I had no choice but to plead guilty. This is a summary of what happened. I only got to know these people through my ex-boyfriend. Given our past relationship, I didn’t have any hesitation when they asked for my help. However, after my arrest, I realized I had been used. Now, I face imprisonment and deeply regret my actions.

I’ve been in custody for 29 months, or two years and seven months. Initially, I struggled to sleep and cried every night. Each morning, I would wake up feeling as though I was still dreaming, but the daily routine in prison served as a harsh reminder of my reality. The hardest part of this experience is being separated from my family. During these past two years, I lost my great-grandmother and grandfather, which was a deeply painful experience. Their loss made me realize the fragility of life and prompted me to worry about my family. It also filled me with regret for not cherishing the time I had with them more.

My father only informed our family of my situation when I missed my grandfather’s funeral. My brother, who was studying in the UK and returned for the funeral, came to visit me. Despite his own pressures, my father frequently visits me, supporting my needs financially.

I’m pained seeing my father’s efforts, particularly as I should be supporting him in his old age. His support during my imprisonment makes me feel like a failure.

All I can do now is care for myself to lessen his worries. I ask him to stay healthy till my sentence ends. When it does, I’ll repay his love, cherish our time, and do all I can for him.

Despite my divorce, I’ve never abandoned the hope to reunite with my daughter. My imprisonment, however, makes it impossible for me participate in her upbringing now, and this causes me pain. I hide these feelings, but when my brother mentioned her, I couldn’t help crying. I regret our separation, seeing it as the cause of my daughter’s broken home and my involvement with deceptive friends.

I’ve adapted to prison life and have even become a cleaner. My daily tasks include helping with various chores and assisting the staff. I’ve realized that acceptance is the key to facing reality and improving my state of mind, allowing time to pass a bit quicker.

In prison, I’ve made friends, many involved in drugs. I’ve urged them to choose their companions wisely, especially women who often trust easily. I’ve warned them about acting rashly, particularly when influenced by their partner’s friends. I’ve stressed not to succumb to the lure of quick money through drug trafficking, as the consequences are severe. Like me, believing in a friend and now paying a heavy price for that ignorance.

My lawyer informed me that the sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence of 26 to 30 years. With a one-third reduction for pleading guilty and another one-third reduction for good behavior, I am still facing a sentence of 12 years. This situation has cost me my freedom, my family, and my time.


We should strive to lead a stable life, secure a job, and distance ourselves from harmful influences. If someone truly cares for you, they will never lead you into risky situations. Once I’m released, I plan to advise my friends to avoid drugs and to spare their loved ones any worry or disappointment.

Even though my release date is still uncertain, I worry about my friends who will be released before me. I continually remind them to stay away from drugs, to avoid individuals with bad habits, and to not allow themselves to be exploited. It’s crucial not to lose one’s way after serving time, or to fall back into criminal behavior in the pursuit of fast cash, especially through social media.

Remembering our time in prison should serve as a deterrent to reoffending. We must understand that our family members would never intentionally harm us, even when they confront us with harsh realities. As for me, I’m still awaiting my sentencing date, as my case has been transferred to the High Court.

Note: This story is a combination of three letters, originally written in Chinese. It has been edited to improve readability. Switch language to read the original.