Who will care for my father now?

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share the suffering I’m currently facing. This is about my case and story.

My mother committed suicide in 2012 when I was 10 years old, and since then my father began having emotional problems. Previous to that, my father had a severe accident at work that left him disabled. This limited his mobility, and the household expenses became a huge burden to him. I felt immense pressure and felt I needed to grow up quickly to start working and help support the family.

So, when I was 16 years old, I dropped out of school, only completing up to Form 4. I’d been working as a kitchen assistant ever since, trying to earn money to contribute to my disabled father’s care. This has been my daily routine.

When I was 21 years old, I met a friend at a bar. He asked me to help deliver an item to someone, and that he would cover my travel expenses for the favor. At first, I refused because he wouldn’t tell me what the item was. But given my family’s situation, with a disabled father to support, and the financial temptation, I reluctantly agreed. I didn’t know it was drugs until the night of September 7, 2023, when I received the item from a man. I had no intention of using the drugs myself. However, I was immediately arrested that same night.

During this period of detention, I came to fully appreciate the value of freedom. Thinking about my father being alone without his daughter to care for him also made me weep.

After being arrested, I felt immense regret. At the police station, I voluntarily admitted my wrongdoing and felt anguish. They found 39g of crystal methamphetamine on me, and I was charged with drug trafficking. They had to search my home.

I was away from home for almost two days, which made my father very worried. When I saw my father, I couldn’t help but burst into tears. I deeply regretted my impulsive actions, as they caused my father distress and left him without anyone to care for him or contribute to the household expenses. He can only rely on his disability allowance to support the entire family. I truly regret this!

It has always been my income that supported my father and our family. My greedy, impulsive behavior has multiplied my pressure exponentially.

After my arrest, I was immediately remanded in custody. During this period of detention, I came to fully appreciate the value of freedom. Thinking about my father being alone without his daughter to care for him also made me weep.

I have gained a deep understanding of the disastrous consequences of drugs.

Life on remand

During the remand period, there are no electronic devices and no freedom. We have to wake up at 6:00 am sharp and neatly fold our mats according to the specified pattern for storage. At all times and in all places, we cannot make loud noises or disturb orders, or else we will be disciplined. There is only unconditional obedience to the rules, and no personal privacy, as we have to live together with people of different backgrounds.

I have a job here and I have to help the staff and officers with various tasks. I work very hard every day! As for the meals, there are set dishes that we have to eat, and we cannot choose the food or pass our portions to others. All items are not to be shared.

My father can only visit me once a month to bring me daily necessities. So I have to use everything sparingly, or else I won’t have anything left! We only get water and tea to drink, no cold beverages, just hot water. We must turn our clothes inside out for the officers to inspect the rooms. When seeing the officers and supervisors, we must stand at attention without any movement.

It’s a highly regimented life every day – no slacking, no loud noises, no phone calls with friends outside, only written correspondence. Lights out at 10 pm, and we can only wear the uniforms provided by the correctional facility. It’s a life devoid of freedom, where I can only focus on work. Compared to life outside, it’s a completely different world. I cannot see my father daily, or take care of him, and I have to coexist with people of different nationalities and personalities, without seeing the sky or even knowing the time. This is how it is, day after day.

Life lesson

I have deeply realized the harms of drugs, whether for users or dealers. It brings unimaginable damage to everyone around, as well as physical harm to oneself. So after I am released from prison, I will not get involved with drugs again. If I know that the people I know have come into contact with drugs, I will advise them as someone who has been through it, to stay away from the drug abyss and not get involved out of impulsiveness or curiosity.

I will reflect deeply on my past mistakes and always be vigilant about myself. Seeing drug users struggle with withdrawal during remand makes me feel deep sorrow. Drugs bring great harm to the user and those around them. Some may even suffer permanent physical damage from drug use, which decreases their health, or even lose their lives.

Therefore, I will use my experience to advise everyone not to touch drugs, as they can ruin one’s entire life. I have deeply learned the harms of drugs.

Note: This story was originally written in Chinese. It has been translated and edited. Switch language to read the original.