EP 9 : Mother in Law

           When we first married he insisted he did not want any children, he was not interested in Kids. He said in the hospital he had walked past the baby room many times and not once had he ever even glanced in! In contrast I loved babies. I used to help in the church Sunday school and in my spare time I was a volunteer in the hospital pediatric department.

           I kept asking and pleading with him to have a baby. In the end he said yes, but only one. I was so thrilled and filled with excitement, the next year was pregnant. But, my joy was tempered with horrible morning sickness and it was 24/7 sickness. He was not a stay home person, he needed to be out and active all the time. Despite the problem with vomiting all the time followed him and even when he went to the pool swimming, I remember sitting by the pool feeling so sick and very uncomfortable.

           Around that time, one of the large hospitals in Kaohsiung were setting up a new department and the Doctor that was arranging this was an acquaintance asked him to join the team. The new job required all his time day and night his day started at the 0700 meeting and every other day he was on 24hours and had to sleep at the hospital, in addition to this he was doing some teaching at the medical school. All this meant spent a lot of time alone.

           I was new to Kaohsiung and I did not know the area or have any friends, I remember feeling very lonely and insecure, especially when every other night | slept alone. When we had storms or typhoons I remember being terrified by the sound of the thunder the howl of the wind and the shadows of the trees flashing across the windows. When I got scared rushed to my bed and hid under the heavy quilt. Suffocation under the blankets or fear of the storm, not sure which was worse.

           But I was to experience other horrible days in my new life in my new city with my mother-in-law.

This was my daytime nightmare, because no matter how hard I tried nothing I did was satisfactory or good enough for her, she was impossible to please. She was a very traditional Taiwanese country woman, in her eyes all men came first, they were a superior being and woman were there to serve them.

           On the nights when my husband was staying at the hospital and not dining with us I would cook a nice meal for my mother-in-law and myself. But I received no thanks, only the question “why cook a lavish meal when the man is not at home". Occasionally I bought cloths, cheap casual wear from the local market, but she would nag, saying “No need to buy new cloths when you already have cloths to wear" | felt so frustrated and tired and I became more unhappy.

           In the early days of our relationship, it was his mother that encouraged him to marry me, her reason, because he wasn’t young anymore and should get married as soon as possible. However after we married, she then became very insecure and began to cause me lots of trouble, I think she resented her son now having another woman in his life. One day he and I were quarrelling and rather than trying to calm the situation she said “if this was your brother he would have slapped her already",I thought, my goodness what kind of mother is this?

| later found out his parents had never slept together since he was 5 years old and they had a very troubled marriage with continuous arguments. I thought this must be the behaviour he had learned especially as when we argued he often sleet in another room. My impression of marital behaviour

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