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I don't know what happened to my mother, but she has changed multiple times...

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I'm not sure what to say about my mother... I honestly don't remember what she was like before the incident, so that doesn't help either.

From what I remember, my mother, best friend and myself were coming back on a trip from Puerto Rico and she had made a 180º.

At the time, I believe I was 12-13, and this happening roughly 17 years ago makes it very difficult for me to recall correctly.

She never informed myself, brother, or my father on what the doctor diagnosed her with OTHER than Vertigo. From what I read, Vertigo/Dizziness won't cause someone to completely change in personality.

Dad and I are thinking that she had a stroke of some sort, it's the only thing that makes sense. Not sure if it was the altitude or what could have caused it... but my dad has also mentioned that she went strange right after they had been married. Within the span of a week. He said he remembered her sitting and talking with her sisters and mother in the other room and later on, she was completely different and demanding. (Mind you, this was back in 1974)

After the trip back from Puerto Rico, she began wearing all white. White pants, white knee-length skirts, white shoes, white socks, and a white head scarf. This was everyday wear for her. She made me go to a public school in my old Catholic private school uniform and would write 5+ page letters informing me on what I could and couldn't wear on a daily basis, church, how crushed velvet is horrible... how wearing jeans to church or sandals were a big no-no... and how I was a dissappointment. There were many more issues brought up, but this is what really stands out at the moment.

She also started sharing what was my room with me... leaving my dad to sleep downstairs on the couch. My brother always had his own room, which of course I was jealous of since privacy would have been a nice thing going through high school and what-not. She eventually began introducing color into her wardrobe and pants... from what I could see, everything was improving and going back to what used to be normal.

There was an incident where my heavily-invovled Catholic aunt had offended my mother by overstepping her bounderies and eventually my mother stopped going to church every Sunday. She was still religious... but she wasn't as strict as she used to be when I was growing up. I don't remember exactly when she "found God" again, but it was within the last 6-7 years. She began going to church again, wearing a mantilla (which she had never done before-but claimed it was tradition), doing the rosary daily, had my dad go through a ton of paperwork and counseling so that she could get re-married to him in the Catholic Church. She said it was her mission in life.

She would tell me about her dreams... how the Pope helped her cross a river. How she thought Catholicism should be taught in every school, how my brother would someday be "the Pope of America." These are her exact words. It's just become more and more weird. I did a painting of the Puerto Rican crest for her birthday and since I wasn't living close to her, when I came down for my parents ceremony, I gave it to her. She claimed that it was FOR her wedding--that she was completing her mission of introducing spanish heritage to America. It really is the strangest thing... she has claimed that her name being "Maria" and my dad's name being "John" was for a purpose... even though they're very common names, she believes that it somehow relates to "John and Mary" from the bible.

I have tried to be so patient with her. But lately she has been driving me crazy. I live out of state and I try not to take her calls in the event that she pisses me off beyond belief. She doesn't fully understand what I'm saying half the time and recently told me that I have no idea who she is anymore. This was because she thought I was questioning her beliefs when I never even touched that subject. She misunderstood and got me so riled up where I almost hung up on her. My husband was in the room when I was talking to her and he didn't know what she had said to make me upset.

I'm sorry for ranting, but I've had this on my chest for too long and with my husband and I welcoming a baby girl into the world in about a month, I'm already regretting her having to meet her future grandmother. My brother and his wife just had their first child 2 weeks ago and I can't help but wonder how she's going to be around their kid. I want her to respect our wishes for our baby... I know she will want to introduce her to Catholicism. I'm so hesitant to leave her alone with my mother... and I feel incredibly guilty for feeling that way. But with what my mom had told me earlier about how I don't know who she is, I KNOW for a fact that she doesn't know who I am either.

I don't know what to do or think. I don't know if anyone has ever had any situations that are similar to what I may have experienced. And yeah, this is more of a rant than anything. I thank those out there for being so patient with reading this... especially since it's been jumpy at parts.

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Unfortunately, from here there's literally no way to know what happened to your mother. Too, it's not clear whether there was one incident or more than one (your trip back to Puerto Rico and your father mentioning that she changed right after marriage.)

Radical changes could be associated either with an organic cause like a stroke or a mental illness (or possibly other causes; I'm not a doctor of any sort). There may be some significance to the fact that the changes seemed to occur during stressful family get-togethers. But, anything along these lines is pure speculation. She would have to ask for help, in order to receive any.

Which brings us to you and your baby. You know, there are no laws on the books that you have to have a good relationship with your mother to successfully raise a child ... We don't get to choose our parents, but we get to choose how much we expose our own children to them. Your mother said herself that you don't know who she is any more, so ... why would you feel guilty that you don't want to leave your baby alone with a stranger? It might mean you will need to put in the effort to get to know her again (if that's what you want), or it might mean simply using some other source for child care.

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Malign, thank you for such a quick response. You've definitely raised some good points in your reply... I want things to go well. I know my mother will have a relationship with our little one, I'm thankful we live out if state. I hate saying that, but you did bring up a good point of why I would feel guilty leaving her with a stranger. With my mother changing dramatically several times, I think I'm also trying to keep our daughter from the stress that it can cause her when she gets older. Although, I do know I can't exactly protect her from this entirely.

I will be playing this by ear. I haven't yet talked to my brother about this... My dad has actually brought it up several times since I had put up this post. He's mentioned her being very sweet and happy and then the next minute she would be total opposite. I guess the most recent episode was when he asked where she was going, she answered, "I'm walking to mass... I'm not a prisoner." When he told me what she had said, I wasn't surprised. But it gets extremely frustrating when I know my dad isn't a)controlling b)means well and c)is genuinely concerned. He doesn't have the heart to speak to her in a sarcastic or mean tone, so I don't know why she has to respond so negatively. Argh, this reply could go on for weeks lol I'm ending here. Thank you for your insight on this matter again, it means a LOT.

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