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