Preface | The Caffeine Experience
Oct 30, 2021
TCE is a home for ex-offenders. A home where we are accepted despite our past. We are loved for who we are. TCE is not a cafe location but a spirit of acceptance.
We are imperfect beings. We are the fallen ones. We made the mistakes and we paid the hefty price known to all (Prison Sentence). Ex-offenders have a hard time restarting. Like most people, we try making efforts to reboot. Yet the society, knowing our background, subconsciously creates a second prison, not intentionally but one created out of fear of the unknown.
We put our best foot forward even though it may not be the society’s best, but at least we try. Unfortunately and not of anyone’s fault, fearing our past, the public inevitably behave in a way that causes us to self doubt and mentally lock ourselves up in a virtual prison.
At the end, due to many unforeseen misunderstandings, we resign from the post as if fate had decided our entire future. Some, make efforts to try again and some return to their past habits of failure. Thus the unspo- ken massacre of the hopeful, known as the second prison.
I understand this complexity of wanting to start again but also concur- rently experiencing the fear of reality. We have to be brave to climb the hill of misunderstandings, sometimes from our own faults but some- times from no fault of ours. The ominous path facing us is filled with obstacles and I clearly understand this because I am one of them.
My name is Matthew Poh and I am an ex-offender.
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The Beginning | The Caffeine Experience
At the point of release, we are like a vulnerable 5-year old kid, hopeful yet fearful, happy yet frightened. If we mix with the wrong crowd, chances are that we will end back in prison, like the fate of 60% of drug-offence releases. If we have the opportunity to commune with people accepting us and encouraging us as we try to restart, we might just stand a chance; a chance not to relapse into oblivion.
October 31, 2021