The Hardships I Faced at Ten Years Old When My Mother Was Imprisoned for Practising Falun Gong

Mr. Xiao Zhanxin lives in Changfeng Village, Handian Town, Shuangcheng City, Heilongjiang Province. In 2000, he was just ten years old. When his mother was repeatedly arrested and detained by Chinese Communist Party authorities, Xiao Zhanxin faced hardships at home, and suffered discrimination from his teacher and bullying from classmates. The story below is what Mr. Xiao recalled.

It was the spring of 2000. Sun Jihua and Tian Chunlai from the Chengxiang Police Station rushed into my home and took away my mother. I was ten years old that year and my sister was about four years old. I had to take over all the housework including the laundry, cooking, watering the yard, taking care of my little sister, etc.

At the beginning, I did not know how to cook. My sister cried because she was hungry, so I had to try. The first meal I cooked tasted terrible. My sister and I cried while eating, wondering when our mum would come back.

When I went to school, the principal, teachers and classmates all asked me if my mum was taken away by the police. I could not focus during class. During recess, my classmates used swear words in reference to Falun Gong, and taunted me. I cried after hearing them. From that time on, no one played with me. No one helped me with answers when I had questions. The teachers were also reluctant to answer my questions. When I asked questions, they just asked me to wait, even in a serious tone. However, when other classmates had a question, the teachers always gave an explanation very patiently. I felt very upset.

At home, I had to do housework and take care of my little sister after finishing my homework. Because my mother was not at home and I did not know how to clean the house, the house was a mess. I also had to work during the weekend. Because my father needed to make a living to support us and cover our school expenses, he was not in a good mood and no longer smiled every day.

I needed to pump water to pour it into the yard, but I had never done it before. During my attempt, I accidentally hurt my mouth. My mouth bled and I covered it with a notebook. My father was not at home at the time. My little sister cried when she saw this and I did not know what to do. The notebook was stained red with my blood. My mouth ended up getting hurt three times. Each time it bled a lot and it eventually left a big scar. The scar is still visible to this day.

I did not dare go to school anymore because the teachers and classmates would laugh at me. I thought to myself, “Those policemen were so bad. If they had not taken away my mother, would my life be like this?”

My sister and I shed many tears. The principal talked to me several times. When I entered his office, he knocked on the desk and asked, “Do you know what you should do when you go home?” I said no. He said, “You should ask your mother not to practise Falun Gong.” He also asked me, “Do you practise? If you do, I will....” He did not finish his words before sending me back to my classroom.

My mother was detained for one month. My sister was sick because she missed my mother so much. When my mother was released, we were so happy to see her.

I remember that on September 10th of that year, which was “Teacher Appreciation Day,” my classmates brought gifts to their teachers. I did not buy any gifts because my family was poor and could not afford it. The teachers and classmates looked down on me. After that, I had an even worse relationship with my classmates and teachers. One day, a teacher told my classmates that not only did I not buy a gift for her, but also glared at her. At the time, my classmates would not believe me no matter how I tried to explain.

Suddenly I became a “bad” student in the teachers' and classmates' eyes. I did not tell my father this because I knew he was in a bad mood. I sat with my sister to watch TV and sang with her to comfort her. When I opened my eyes in the morning, I just wished that it would be dark again soon. When it was dark, I would think about how it would soon be light again. I just wanted to see my mother and did not think about studying.

Before my mother was arrested, she did all the laundry. After she was gone, I had to do the laundry by myself. I put the clothes into a big basin, poured water and detergent in, and washed them by hand. I could not finish one set of clothes in two hours. I wondered when my mother could come back. I did not rinse the clothes enough, and when my shirt was dry, there were many circular marks on it. I could not wear it to school.

One night close to the Chinese New Year, a big group of people rushed into my home and took away my mother again. Other families were preparing things for the Chinese New Year. We did not buy anything. Previously when my mother was at home, she would buy candies and roast sunflower seeds. The whole family ate dumplings. However, that year, my mother was not at home. There was no candy or sunflower seeds. We could not eat dumplings as before. We felt miserable. My sister and I held my father and cried.

When my mother was detained, we were allowed to visit her. When I saw her, I just held her and cried. Many people in the room also shed tears. My mother helped me remove lice from my hair. At the time, I recalled a song called, “Only Mum Is the Best in the World.” Because we spent a lot of money to get my mother released, we had many debts. We had to sell our three-room house and move into a smaller one. Because my mother went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, about two-thirds of our field was confiscated. My father had to do odd jobs and run a small business to make a living.

When I grew up and was about to go to middle school, my family was in a difficult financial situation, and could hardly afford to send me to school. I decided not to go to school and stayed home to help my mother. Even though my classmates and teachers made my life so difficult, I did not harbour anger or resentment towards them because of Falun Gong's teachings. I just hope that they can remember: “Falun Gong is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,” and that they will have a good future.

Now when I recall what happened in the past, I feel it was so difficult to be a good person. However, I will continue to follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

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