Wedding Woes

Your mom is not going to change, so boundaries are your friend.

Dear Prudence,

My grandma was a severe drug addict who terrorized my mother as she was growing up. It left her with lifelong issues. I’ve never even seen her take an aspirin, and I was terrified to drink the sacramental wine at Mass as a child. I am an adult now and have grown to enjoy going to breweries and having a glass of wine with dinner. I am careful and in control; the few times I have been drunk, it has been at my home or within walking distance. This is a huge source of conflict with my mother. She hasn’t straight accused me of being an alcoholic, but she will make inflammatory statements if I post a picture online of myself with a margarita or go through my kitchen and comment about the wine or six-pack in my fridge. It is wearing on my last nerve and worse. She makes these comments in front of other people, too. I am not my grandmother. I resent having to pay for the sins of a woman who has been dead for a decade. I am tired of being treated like a lush for having a few beers over the weekend. My mother doesn’t do that to anyone else—not her brothers or their kids. Just me. How do I deal with her?

—Past Sins on My Head

Re: Your mom is not going to change, so boundaries are your friend.

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    I would explain to mom why her comments are hurtful and unfair.  And then give her one warning that, anytime I hear a comment like that, the visit/phone call/etc. will be over and I will leave/have her leave/hang up.  Making sure to follow through with it.  Hopefully, after that happening a few times, mom will get the hint.
    I agree with this.

    And depending on how annoyed I was with Mom here, I'd probably have a hard time NOT saying something about how her view on alcohol and drugs is almost as unhealthy as Grandma's was. Opposite ends, obviously, but still super extreme. 
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    I feel LW's pain. My dad is an alcoholic, and hasn't had a drink in 30 years. His parents were both drunks, and any time I drink in front of him, I can tell he's counting my drinks. He even went so far as to tell me that seeing me drinking made me think of his mother. And that was not a compliment. 
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    My mom was very clearly over-reactive about two things when we were kids - drinking, and fire. I don't think I saw any alcoholic beverages in my parents' house until I was in college, and I think that was something my dad did voluntarily to keep her from stressing about us sneaking some. However, her dad is a drunk, and her house burned down when she was a kid and just the kids were home.

    So I understood it.

    However, she luckily respects us and our choices as adults. So as adults, we just did our (normal, non-alcoholic) thing, and she's mellowed out a lot. LW needs to set some boundaries where mom is making it difficult to live her life normally, and hopefully the mom can work out some of her own issues.
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    Yeah I think LW should talk to her Mom, but I’m not surprised at her behavior either. 

    My Dad is an alcoholic who has been sober for almost 10 years. My Mom never drank in front of us. Ever. And she would judge the shit out of our (perfectly normal) drinking as adults. She’s mellowed in the last year or so but yeah it’s annoying. I just ignored it and lived my life. 
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    My brother is an addict/alcoholic. Sometimes my parents make comments or side eye my drinking. I don’t pay attention to it because I know I don’t have a problem, but it’s still annoying. I’ve had to straight up tell them before to lay off and stop projecting my brother’s issues on me. 

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