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Home Is Where The Heartbreak Is

, , , , , | Related | July 13, 2017

(I just had my first child and have moved to a rented townhouse in a seaside suburb. My mother has brought my mother-in-law for her first visit to see the new baby. My mother-in-law has always lived in the public housing system with low subsided rents and most of her daughters do as well. She believes that I had a privileged upbringing while in fact my parents worked hard for what they had and taught the principles to me. Her first husband was abusive and violent. Just before I left hospital I had to have a deep vein blood test, which was painful and left prominent bruising, including finger marks where the doctor was firmly holding my arm still.)

Mother-In-Law: *looking at our small but nice townhouse* “How much does this cost?”

Me: “The rent is $[amount] a week.”

Mother-In-Law: “No, you should be in [Public Housing]. The rent is much cheaper.”

Me: “We don’t qualify. [Husband] earns too much.”

Mother-In-Law: “This is what you do. You go down to [Housing Department] and you tell them that you’ve left [Husband] because he’s abusing you” *my mother and I are both looking at her in shock* “You’ll get emergency housing right away and then he can move back in with you in a few months”.”

Me: *calmly rolling up my sleeve* “I guess I could show them this.”

Mother-In-Law: *her eyes go steely and she shrieks* “DID [HUSBAND] DO THAT TO YOU?!”

Me: *still calm* “No, but you are telling me to tell the authorities that he does.”

Mother-In-Law: *stutters* “I’m just trying to get you and him cheaper housing.”

Me: “We are fine here, thanks.”

(I think I shocked her enough to stop giving such advice to me but not to her own daughters, one of whom was investigated for cheating the public housing system.)

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