Living in squalor was an exaggeration of their actual living conditions but it was an accurate depiction of how he felt about them.
They were cramped, uncomfortable and awkward.
He couldn't understand why the owners failed to understand that it wasn't their wish or desire to live this way and that it was embarrassing.
The whole situation made him feel ashamed, angry and upset which is why you didn't hear him talk about it often because words didn't help.
All they did was tear the scab off of a wound that had never healed.
The pain might not be what what it once was but it wasn't gone either.
And when it was exposed it always felt as raw and awful as it did the day it happened.