What can I say about prison. The question I ask myself is how did I get here? Well I know the answer to this. Each morning I lay in my cell and start playing my life like a movie. It starts where I started the first lie to my parents about my degree, then to solidify that I lie I obtained a job.
Obtaining this job in order to live a lie was the start of everything. I had to tell my parent that I was in a good job as I am from a good family, and that we can only have a degree and a good job to be something in our parents lives. That is the problem having a Asian background there is always pressure to do something better than someone else.
After working at this job, I felt as though I needed to somehow move on to something that will better my false career. Suffice to say I found a job and that did lead me to lying to my employers to further my fake career, all to convince my family I was a somebody.
The thing is, in that time of working in this job, I had got married and now embroiled in my lies was my wife and life was getting a bit of a squeeze trying to prove to my wife and my family that I was in a good job. In order to do this I pulled off many small lies. After one year of being married and convincing everyone in my family, that I am a somebody. It all came crashing down, I lost the job. This was not to be the end however, as I am frantacially searching for money I met some people that would lead me to here HMP Wandsworth. To sustain a decent life I pretended to my wife that I was working, instead I was committing fraud.
I was arrested and at the police station, after I had told my life story to the police. I was bailed. After some 6 months later and convinced I would not go to prison as this was my first ever offence. I was convicted of fraud and sent to 6 months in prison
That was the day I felt nothing but shame and regret along with some other feelings, I believe the worst feeling was fear. I did not have a chance to say goodbye to my wife, in my head she was who I felt that I disappointed the most, she was an innocent victim of all this. My lies involved someone that need not be involved. It was my selfishness that tangled her to me.
The end result was not a bad thing, my wife has stayed with me. It has been hard but I can say that I am happy. The lies have stopped. Prison is not an easy place especially someone like me who is not had a terrible life.
The funny thing about prison is how people perceive you, in my sentencing hearing I wore a suit and as I am being processed, and was in a general holding area one of the inmates asked me what I was doing there and if I was lost. I asked I am not lost as I am a prisoner. A few of the boys laughed as they thought I was a governor.
I struggled the first night the cell was disgusting, the sink had faeces in it, the toilet the same. It stunk and all I could do was stare at the ceiling and just curse and pray all at the same time. After a few days I left the rotting cell put in a new cell with a good cellmate who had been in and out of prison he told me how to behave, told me to keep to myself and head down.
I learned a lot in prison, it was just about conforming to the rules. Respect and humility is a big thing in prison too. You can think that your important or try and show your important but I believe that would be my downfall if I became too cocky. This would rub some people the wrong way and in prison I have no intention of doing that.
After a few weeks I settled into routine and even met some nice guys. Some of them where waiting for deportation or some were waiting for trial. I had one issue my cellmates kept on changing, this made me very uncomfortable as I could not get into routine with the same person. With that I asked the officers why this was. I was told that because I am found to be polite and officers have noticed that I do not have any problems with other prisoners.
Being in prison is like groundhog day, doing the same thing everyday having the same routine. It can get frustrating and lonely. You realise the small things in life you take for granted like walking to the shops, talking to friends and many more things. This is the price you pay.
Whilst on the inside I was adjusting, my family were finding it difficult. My wife was alone, and my family did not know how to deal with it. The good thing is we were getting routine with me being in prison as best we could. We would write and I would phone when I could, but it was not the same as being there in person. I respected and loved my wife more. I am determined that when I get out, I will give her the life she deserves and I promised her and myself that I would do it honestly.
I believe prison has changed me, it has made me understand that I need to do things the right way. More importantly I should do what makes me happy. I hope when I am out this can be achieved but prison has left me with goals that are achievable.
“ There is a circle of humanity, he told me, and I can feel its warmth. But I am forever outside.”