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Nature vs. Nurture revisited; a mother/daughter dynamic witnessed by Ruth Sippel Pace March 21, 2010

Posted by Ruth in mental illness, Uncategorized.
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My sister Gert McQueen says in her post “Nature vs. Nurture”: “She (Joan) shows a very intense love/hate relationship with the adoptive mother, in my opinion one that borders on a form of non-sexual sadomasochism because it appears as if they both get some kind of pleasure from inflicting and from enduring pain and cruelty.”
    I not only witnessed first hand a couple of exchanges between Joan and her amom, but the one was indicative of narcississtic personality disorder, in which CONTRADICTIONS OF IDEAS is present, often in the same conversation, even in the same sentance.
    In 1982, I drove Joan to Roswell Park Cancer Institute to visit her adoptive dad, who was suffering from terminal brain cancer. I had met this guy before, he seemed nice. (Joan says me and my sisters were disrespectful to him, that is so BS). Anyway, picture if you will, a man laying in the hospital bed. Three chairs assembled at the foot of the bed, I was on his left side, his wife on his right side, Joan at the direct end of the bed. EW was not able to speak, but he was aware of everything that was going on.

    To make conversation, I brought up something that was on the news. It involved a Florida couple, he was paralyzed in a car accident, and was engaged to be married. The Catholic priest of the girl’s parish refused to marry them because the purpose of marriage in the Catholic Church was to procreate. Since the man could not procreate, he could not marry anyone. Well, Joan agreed with me, and her mother disagreed. Instead of having an intelligent debate, these two women started bickering at each other. Dorothy/Doloris (so contradictory, she uses two names, she was introduced to us as Dorothy, that’s all we knew her by, but then years later, we were told by Joan that we were wrong, her name is Doloris.   In the public records in Erie County Hall, she is known as Dorothy Wheeler, aka Doloris Wheeler).  Anyway, DorDol was raising her voice saying that if a couple couldn’t have children, they couldn’t be married in the Catholic Church. I was amazed. Here she and her husband couldn’t have children, and were married in the Catholic Church, so what the heck? Joan was raising her voice arguing that that was an old-fashioned judgement call. I wanted to sink thru the floor. “why did you bring this up?” I said to myself. I then looked at the dying man in the bed, (don’t forget we were in a hospital at the bedside of a dying man), and he was looking sadly at his wife, then to his daughter. I felt so bad for him. Then all of a sudden, Dor/Dol changed her arguement, saying, “the priest should mind his own business. Who does he think he is saying he is not going to marry two people who love each other.” I did a double take!

    This was like the classic Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck arguing routine, Bugs saying “no,” Daffy saying “yes.” Yes, no; yes, no; yes, no; yes, YES.” Bugs changed his word no to yes in the middle of the argument, and then Daffy, to spite Bugs, changed HIS word to no. Then Daffy stops and realizes what just happened. And Bugs is there smirking.
      I don’t remember how the arguement ended, but I do remember saying to Joan in the car later, what I saw and heard her mother do. “Oh yes, that is how she does. I have grown up with her doing that. Sometimes I didn’t know which way to go or what to say when I was growing up.”
     Another instance I witnessed was at the 4th birthday party of Joan’s daughter. My husband and I were there at Joan’s house, along with my stepmother. I’m not sure who my stepmother was with, since she doesn’t drive. It may have been one of her daughters. This was in 1990, and my husband was still getting to know my family (we’d only been together for a couple of years). He was in the kitchen talkiing with my stepmother who was from France. My husband visited Paris when he was in the Navy and he and my stepmother were talking about the Follies Begere. Joan walked in the kitchen and interrupted a conversation that she wasn’t even involved in, and started yakking about how sexist the Follies were. I was sitting in a chair in the dining room and witnessed the whole thing. Both my husband and stepmother just stopped talking, because Joan ruined the conversation. Both of them rolled their eyes. Joan then left the room and walked past me and went into the living room where her amother was. I don’t know what started it, but the next minute, they were screeching at each other. Those two harpies ruined a four-year old’s birthday party. Everybody who was there were rolling their eyes, as if to say “there they go again.”

    Joan stomped into the dining room, her amom followed her. They were standing in front of me, yelling at the top of their lungs. And very screechy! My ears started to hurt. I went into the kitchen and got my husband. In front of my stepmother, I said, “can we go? I can’t stand this noise.” So we left. I never went to Joan’s house again. She would yell at her kids like that too! Screeching!

    Joan had been spoiled while she was growing up. Her mother hand sewed mother/daughter matching outfits, but then, according to Joan, (on Page 319) that when they got Joan home from Family Court, she was covered in body sores, because Joan’s godparents (who had taken her in while my mother was dying), did not take good hygienic care of her. (more on this later). “You had sores all over your body when we got you.” Joan says on page 319 that her mother yelled at her and made her feel guilty, yet fawned on her. In the late 70’s Joan got her first apartment on Bradley Street, just about a mile where I was living with my first husband. I was with her one day when her mother brought over 2 full grocery bags. Meat, fresh produce, bread, canned goods. But then Joan relates (and I witnessed this, as I wa s a bridesmaid), Dor/Dol refused to be part of Joan’s wedding party. Would not sit in the front of the church, but  sat at the back. (I still have the video of the wedding). Joan also relates in the book, that Dor/Dol refused to accept Joan’s decision to retain her maiden name after she got married and would sent her letters addressed to Mrs. Joan Bell, and other variations of her name. Yet she continued to pay this grown and now married woman’s bills!
    In 1986, The Monkees, a 60’s pop-rock group went on a tour. The closest they came to Buffalo was in Chataugua, New York, south of Buffalo. Joan and her husband were planning on going and asked me if I wanted to go too. I really wanted to, but had no money. But Joan and Colby owed me for some long distance calls Joan had put on my phone, so they bought my ticket. We went and it was fun! This was July. In September, 1986, Buffalo was added to the tour. Joan called me up. Did I want to see them again? Well, sure, but I had other financial obligations, and declined. Joan called me a few days later. She had a dream about Monkees lead singer Mickey Dolenz. She just HAD to go to the concert now. I said “Have fun.”
    Two weeks later, Joan calls me crying. Her electricity was getting shut off for non-payment. Let’s see, we have this grown woman, married, she has one child, is 9 months pregnant with her second child, and her electric bill is getting cut off. folk, it doesn’t take a mere two weeks to get the electric company to make that decision! It takes about 3-4 months of not paying for them to send out a shut-off notice! So instead of being a RESPONSIBLE ADULT AND PAYING HER UTILITY BILLS, WHEN SHE HAS A TODDLER AND ANOTHER BABY ON THE WAY, she goes to TWO concerts! I don’t remember what I told her. But a few days later, Joan calls me up: her mother paid the electric bill.
    A few years later, my cousin Gail called me. Her mother had been friends with a sister of the man who adopted Joan, and Gail knew this woman’s daughters. Well, Dor/Dol had been whining to the Wheeler family that Joan was ungrateful, always taking her money, not paying her back, yadda yadda yadda. Gail felt sorry for her. I told her “Well I don’t.” I told Gail about the bags of grocery, the electric bill, and other instances I know of. I said,”All Dor/Dol has to do is stop giving Joan money and tell her to grow the f up and get a job  and pay her dam bills like everybody else on this planet. If she she keeps giving her money, that’s her problem, and she should stop whining about it. Only a fool continues to give another person money when they haven’t gotten paid back from previous “loans.” Gail agreed.
    In 1988, Joan wanted to buy a computer to write her book. She didn’t have the money. Yep, you guessed it, her mother gave  her the money. BUT after the whole summer, holding the money over Joan like a carrot on a stick. She would say she’d have the money from the bank by a certain day, then say, she didn’t go to the bank. She would tell Joan she giving her $4000.00 that’s right FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS, then it was only 4 hundred. Sick game playing. I told Joan “this woman is toxic. You need to make your mind up. Either you accept her money, on her terms, and live with her sick playing, or tell her once and for all to go to hell.” (that’s what I would do, I don’t let ANYBODY treat me like that! But as we see, these two women are locked together in a sick game of love and hate, give and take, arguing and then talking like nothing happened. SICK! The both of  them.

Here’s a real sweet example of how sick they are. On pages 554-55  Joan plays the martyr for VOLUNTEERING to take my 85 year father to his doctor appointments. She snidely says our younger has a motorcycle, and the sister who lives in the same city (me) has a paying job, but a car with high repair costs. Again we see how Joan takes a little bit of info and weaves her own spin of a story on it. I did not have a car for years. I inherited a van when my mother-in-law died. The van was in perfect condition. On December 30, 2004 a distracted driver made a right turn on red in front of me and I couldn’t stop in time. The damage was over $2000.00. The insurance company wanted to total it, my husband and I said no, tow it our house and we will fix it later. At the same time, our house was being foreclosed for back taxes. My husband had open heart surgery in September 2003, and was out of work for a while and we fell behind. I had asked Joan for help via a letter, reminding her of her theft of money from me, instead of sending me even ten bucks, she tried to haul me into court for “harassment!” The court dismissed it, because they could see I was pleading for help. John and I used the car insurance settlement money to pay the back taxes on our house and the gas bills for that winter season. It took us another 2 years to scrimp and save to get the repair money for the van, and it was fixed in November 2006. Hasn’t given us any problems, except the usual – we need new brakes next month. To do the scrimping and saving, I was putting in overtime at work. My husband, post-open heart surgery, could not do any more heavy lifting, he did try it, and got a hernia. In July 09, he had another surgery. His job pays just over minimum wage. As I am the major bread-winner in my household, I am still putting in the extra/overtime. So what? that’s MY business, not Joan’s. I live almost 9 miles from my father. Joan lives less than 4. She doesn’t work. I do. AND SHE VOLUNTEERED to drive my father for his doctor and errands. A volunteer does it because they care, not because they expect to get something back. You do get something back, the feeling of goodness in your heart that YOU HELPED SOMEONE.

   Another thing: Joan ASSUMES she knows anything about my van. ASSUMPTIONS DO NOT BELONG IN A BOOK OF NON-FICTION. As she knows no facts concerning my van or my life at this period in time, WHY IS SHE MENTIONING IT? And does the fact that I could not drive my father around in 2004 – 2006 because I was taking the bus HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH JOAN’S ADOPTION? NO! Then why is it in her book?  Joan, when you ASSUME, you make an ASS out of U and ME. But mostly yourself. 

So what does this CARING daughter do to my father when her car broke down? Demanded money from him! He told her “your car is your responsibility, not mine.” right on Dad!

Now, in her book, she whines because Dad didn’t help her. (um Joan, remember what YOU did when someone [ME] asked for help? You turned me down flat, and further, tried to take me to court. And puts in her book over and over that she doesn’t know why her birth sisters can’t stand her. JOAN wants everyone to help HER, but when someone asks HER for help, she turns her back on them. Joan never helped me from day one. Then again, I don’t need anybody’s help. I stand on my own two feet, put in the extra time at work and pay for what I need.  And if that didn’t leave me time for college, as Joan uses as a put-down about me, well, Joan, THAT’S MY LIFE, NOT YOURS. I have NEVER complained about not going to college. Why is Joan? Joan says continuously thru her book that people should stop making judgements and comments about HER life. Well it works both ways my dear. Why are you making comments and judgements about MY life? Whether I went to college or not, wanted children or not, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOUR ADOPTION, OUR REUNION OR ANYTHING ABOUT YOU AND DOES NOT BELONG IN YOUR BOOK!

On page 554, after my father turned her down for help for her car repairs, Joan relates that she goes back home and tells her amom.  This is what Joan relates that her amom says (or rather yelled):  “We did all the work – your (adoptive) father and I – and paid for the upkeep of his child. Did he ever think of that? He gave you up for adoption because he could not afford to take care of you. We took care of you. Now the tables are turned. In my advanced age, living on a fixed income. I look back and see that he ahd the benefit of a working wife for thirty-some years! I had to quit my job to stay home with you – his child! Those were the rules to adopt – no sense in adopting if a mother would not actually be with the child. Back then, we had enough money with just Daddy’s income, but now, your other father reaps the benefits of retirement from a two-paycheck income while I watch my Social Security dwindle. Daddy’s pension and medical benefits get cut every year. My out-of-pocket are sky-high, yet he wants us to foot the bill for his transportation!”

1. Dorothy, YOU chose to adopt Joan. Nobody forced you.

2. Joan VOULUNTEERED  to transport my father.

3. Both Dorothy and Joan CHOSE to not work when they were younger and in better health, thereby building up their social security/old age pension.

4. As an electrician at Dunlop Tires, EW made a dam good income. Auto workers, steel plants workers, paid very good money. I know a lot of retirees and widows of retirees from both Chevy and Bethlehem steel and they are getting enough. It is called PLANNING FOR YOUR FUTURE.

5. such snidely remarks. Jealousy. reaping the benefits of two-income social security. well, that’s the way of the world people. Oh, Joan can’t get a job. Listen, I have congenital scoliosis. My right leg is slightly shorter than my left and I have curvature of the spine because of it, causing chronic back problems.  I now have athritis in my spine. But I am still at my job. Which entails a lot of heavy lifting. I have allergies. I am exposed to all sorts of germs in the hospital. I am constantly sneezing and hacking and blowing my nose at work. (ask my co-workers).  I already know and have planned for, that I have to work until I am 70 to get my full social security, and my pension from BGH.  John is also working until he is 70. And in the meantime, I am remodeling my house. Me, doing a lot of the manual work. Tearing down walls, up in the crawlspace, cleaning out the dirt, laying down insulation and the plywood sheets. John, post open-heart surgery, nails down the wood. We see what needs to be done, AND DO IT! If we can’t, then we PAY for it. No whining involved.

The two of these whining, self-serving, jealous, judgemental biddies need to be put out of their misery.

Gert McQueen – March 26, 2010 [Edit]

I find it hard to believe that Joan would print the things she does in that book. How can she say on one hand that Dad was ‘dirt’ poor when he married and had children when he wasn’t and then say that he has more income today, with retirement and SS than she ever will. Can’t have your cake and eat it too.
and for her to repeat a statement from the adoptive mom, worst than tackless, not right, nonrepectful to repeat such coming from a sick woman
these people Joan and the adoptive mom think that our father was dirt poor and that is why he place joan up and that the wheeler did him a huge favor in raising joan and that now he ougtht pay them, I could go on up you’lll have to wait til I write my blog entries to read more, I am not done with Joan yet.



1. * « Refuting a Book of Lies: Forbidden Family - March 25, 2010

[…] Nature vs. Nurture revisited; a mother/daughter dynamic witnessed by Ruth Sippel Pace  March 21, 2010 […]

Gert McQueen - March 26, 2010

I find it hard to believe that Joan would print the things she does in that book. How can she say on one hand that Dad was ‘dirt’ poor when he married and had children when he wasn’t and then say that he has more income today, with retirement and SS than she ever will. Can’t have your cake and eat it too.
and for her to repeat a statement from the adoptive mom, worst than tackless, not right, nonrepectful to repeat such coming from a sick woman
these people Joan and the adoptive mom think that our father was dirt poor and that is why he place joan up and that the wheeler did him a huge favor in raising joan and that now he ougtht pay them, I could go on up you’lll have to wait til I write my blog entries to read more, I am not done with Joan yet.

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