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Forbidden Family or Forbidden Child by Gert McQueen, April 1, 2010 May 7, 2010

Posted by Ruth in Refuting Joan Wheelers statements.
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‘The evil life is really the thoughtless life’….The Dhammapada

‘The superior man seeks what is right; the inferior one, what is profitable.’ ….Confucius

Forbidden family or forbidden child? Why would anyone who adopts a child what to possess that child? Joan’s adoptive parents failed her because of their possessiveness and fear of losing her. Why would anyone (Joan) think that they could change adoption laws by showing the world all their inner torment and faulty reasoning? It actually will do the reverse; this book will never be taken seriously by anyone that can alter laws. If any laws ought to be changed it would be a more stringent review of the prospective parents. Having adopted my son I know that there are extensive background checks but nothing can really uncover the mental processes of people…until it is too late.

As I showed in my last post, Joan had shown very early on that she has some serious mental issues in her life. Why did she not get help? Because her adopted parents did get it for her because they did not see the signs because they had serious mental issues themselves. What I find fascinating is that Joan has no sense of personal shame; she just lays it all out, bearing all, for the world to see, her inner tormented self. This book is not about adoption or adoption reform and social activism, it’s a vanity piece for Joan’s inner world to take center stage in all its ugliness because she was forbidden to be from very early in her life! But if she thinks that this book will help the ‘cause’ of changing adoption rules, she is sadly mistaken. Showing the world how adoption affected your (Joan’s) inner life will not change the laws.

 Pg 90 early signs of anxiety, panic, agitation, worry, and inability to tell people how she feels. When she does describe her feelings or about things she would like to spend time on, she has a strange use of words, such as on pg 91 ‘I salvaged some time each week…’ Salvaged? Why not put aside some time, or took some time, or looked forward to some time? Salvaged!

Even when she is describing events that should be joyful and calm or when she learns about her adoption, she always describes then in terms of inner torment. Pg 92, ‘…felt an agonizing sense of recognition, instantly repulsed at the level of betrayal…’ She sees herself as the ‘victim’; everything is seen from that victim’s eyes.

Pg 93 ‘…filled with resentment…I was ostracized…when I alone I huddled…crying…felt lonely even when with people…started smoking pot…didn’t like to but did it anyway…was out of control and depressed.’ Where is her self-esteem? If she didn’t have it at age 18 before she met the birth family, where do you think she lost it? Where were her adoptive parents while she was smoking pot in her room?

Pg 95 is an ex. of how Joan invents stories to fit in with her view of herself and those around her; for this vanity piece. It is 1974 just before she goes to college, she tells that I, her eldest birth sister, my children and my boy friend, went to the cemetery to visit our mother’s grave. She states that ‘the adults took a few puffs on a joint to get stoned. I shouldn’t have done it and felt uncomfortable, but Irma (that’s me) brought it out, she insisted…it would ease the pain and I went along with her lead. She was the eldest in the family and I looked up to her.’

All totally wrong, never happened. Number 1, my boyfriend never went with us to the cemetery. Number 2, I never smoked pot nor had a drink with my children around; my children never knew anything about such things until in their teens, in 1974 they were 8 and 9. My children’s natural father, at that time my ex-husband, had intimidated me for years that he would take the children from me. I virtually lived ‘in fear’ that he would do such a thing and therefore lived a very ‘low-profile’ life-style, something that Joan has no concept of. Number 3, she had already admitted that ‘she smoked pot’ on pg 93 so why is she trying to blame me that she smoked?

Not only has she fabricated a story; she makes it look like I made her do it, for what possible reason? Joan again proves, by her own words of lies, that she has no boundaries and no consideration for other people. How dare she put into print that I smoked pot! Has she no sense of the consequences of her words and deeds to other people? If she is capable of lying about her own family members just what is she capable of with her ‘adoptive friends’? Would you trust her?

Then there’s more melodrama! Actually the pages 96-101, where she details the family histories are quite fascinating, that is what adoption reunions are supposes to be about, family histories, not all of Joan’s melodramas. But it becomes quite apparent that it is within the Wheeler family where the troubles originated. The main source of trouble and later harassment is shown on pg 99, it is the adoptive father’s brother, John Wheeler, if that is his correct name. It is things that he does later, to Joan, which my sisters and I get the blame for. It is also quite interesting to note the family dynamics at work within the Wheeler family. The antagonism is palpable, the intimidations, the betrayals; all learned and practiced within the Wheeler family complex long before Joan knew she was part of our family! Joan is the product of her upbringing; she has no real claim on the Herr/Sippel families.

On pg 99 she has a ‘confrontation’ with an adoptive uncle and she fully describes how she took from his pocket a document claiming that it was hers…and she wonders why he took ‘revenge’ later! On pg 101 she again shows her amoral character, she sneaks around waiting for the ‘appropriate’ time to take ‘it was mine now and stealing didn’t bother me.’ She speaks with contempt for her adoptive parents, ‘rage burned inside me…why did they do this to me…deceive me…felt cheated out of life…deliberately kept away from…’ She says, ‘an unseen force had been destroying my self-confidence and self-respect…making me feel worthless, unwanted and unloved.’ And this is how one talks about people who raised her for 18 years! It’s me, me, me, with no respect for the people who fed her, changed her diapers and for 18 years provided for her. Shame, shame, shame!

In chapter 12 as she begins college she ‘self-defines’ herself, she ‘wasn’t normal…filled with anxiety’. Even in written communications with adoptive parents she can not let go of her hatred for them; she feels the mother ‘played God’. Remember this people because it is a learned behavior and Joan has ‘played God’ many times to many people, I know what I speak. Even when a relative dies and she has to go home for a funeral she is selfish; ‘grandma couldn’t have picked a worse time to die’!

It is in college where she begins to learn about adoption laws with research in a Family Dynamics course. This is also where she is introduced to and indoctrination into militarist activism along with radical feminism and Political Correctness, or PCism, all of which are the banes of modern society. It is my opinion, clearly labeled here, that the beginning of the breakdown of civil society was spawned by radical feminism and PCism and it has brought us to the sorry state of our present social discourse where rudeness and crudeness seems to be all that we know how to act whether it be in person or on the Net!

 Like it or not everyone’s family is what it is, that is the nature of ‘being’ in the human race. It does no good to be judgmental about what your family is or isn’t nor does it do any good to try to get members of your family to ‘fit’ the picture that you think they should be. Joan has a view of what life and everyone’s part in it should be and well, it’s all about her. She can’t accept that people have different views from her and she is quick to condemn another for their ‘mistakes’. Case in point, pg 107, where after she receives a letter from President Ford, she is ‘…bothered by the president’s misperceptions…his use of the word ‘real’ to describe his natural father and his use of the phrase ‘the only father I ever had’. Oh, she is more aware of the use of proper words than the President of the USA! But then she admits that ‘…since I was new at this …I shouldn’t expect him ….to be aware of the fledgling adoption reform movement…’ How magnanimous of her! And ‘if I only had tried (with the President) I wonder what would have happened.’ Boy does she have visions of her own self-importance; she was just way ahead of her time!

Let’s go back a bit here with what is meant by ‘the only father I ever had’; substitute any form of parent, mother, stepparent, foster-parent etc. Just what is the problem with that statement or sentiment? I had foster-parents from the ages of 10 to 18 and they were wonderful and gave me many insights into how parents behave. I’m not saying everything was great, but over the years, I have come to have great respect for the job they did, not only for myself and my siblings but also for the many other foster children they cared for. I am put off by Joan’s insistence that those that are ‘other’ than birth parents have no real standing in the parenting department.

 Pg 108 is another example of flat out lies. Joan states ‘…eldest sister (that’s me), her boyfriend and children came to….college to drive me home…family reunion…in Jamestown.’ Again, truth is, I did not go to get her and take her anywhere, neither did my boyfriend nor my children and don’t recall any reunion in Jamestown or any other place that I attended! On pg 110 she clearly states that ‘on the drive home with B, cousin G and Aunt C…’ If I took her to this reunion why did I not take her back home, why did she go back with others? No, I didn’t go somewhere else because I never was there in the first place! In March of 2010, I spoke with my children; they said they were not at this so-called event. My boyfriend, at that time, is dead; he was sick most of 1974/5, did not go many places with me and died in 76. All these details about what happened at a reunion, that I never went to, is presented only to show that Joan was finally getting attention, she ‘felt like a celebrity’, never mind that she lies to make up the story.

Again why does she have to retell intimate family sentiments, be they good, bad or ugly? It is no one’s business outside of the family. Details and individual feelings and opinions about other family members stay within the family, but Joan doesn’t take other people into consideration, she hears a tale she must repeat it. In all her attempts at getting information from families, both adoptive and birth, she exhibits all kinds of inappropriate responses. She thinks that adults have to tell their children everything and if they don’t she is betrayed. She is too thin-skinned, can’t handle people who act abruptly, jumps to quick conclusions without thinking and resents having to spend so much time getting to know birth family and getting answers from adoptive family. Gee, I thought she wanted the truth, so why is she resentful? It’s like she wants her cake and be able to eat it too. She is so inconvenienced by it all! Forget about truth, it is her own perceptions that are important. When she doesn’t get her way she is ‘confused and angry…lashed out at those closest to me…screamed with rage…my out of control behavior…’ It’s all about Joan and she is all about drama! Hey she has to sell the book, you know!

When Joan is dealing with others, non-family members, she is the nicest, sweetest, loveliest person promoting of all things, truth! see pg 113. But she doesn’t understand family members’ non-interest in the adoption issues; she has to point out that I ‘complained that adoption wasn’t her (my) thing’. Is there a point here?

On pg 114 Joan finally finds the Adoptees Liberty Movement Association and ‘a militant with more than her fair share of enemies’, sounds like Joan met her hero! Pg 115, ‘…the confusion and rage within me began to consume me and change me into a radical adoptee….that militant part of me grew in ways that were unhealthy … I turned against all adoptive parents, feeling they were totally wrong and were to blame for causing devastating problems for their adoptees…’ And this was her justification to make me be wrong when I adopted my own son in 1981!

Too bad for me and my family isn’t it that she didn’t ‘…recover from this negative stage until….walked into my life in 1981…where my militant aggression has been re-directed away from adoptive parents toward lawmakers and policy makers.’ The damage Joan began in 1980-81 to my family was only the beginning. As she ends this chapter, both in the book and in her life, of 1974, as the ‘Honeymoon Stage of Reunion’, the Honeymoon is over stage has only just began. Stay tuned!

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