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Chapter 21 of Forbidden Family by Joan Wheeler – rebutted! November 5, 2010

Posted by Ruth in mental illness, Refuting Joan Wheelers statements.
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Before I get to Chapter 21, I want to address a remark that Joan made on page 186, where Joan relates that at one of the meetings of a local adoption support group she belonged to the group decided to go on television to publicize their plight. She says that I was “uncomfortable” with her going public with our family history of adoption. This is so bullshit! The timeline is early 1980 – and in early 1980 I accompanied Joan to WGRZ-television studios to do an on-camera interview with reporter Rich Kellman to talk about our reunion! If I was so uncomfortable, why would I then consent to being in a television interview myself?

 Chapter 21, on page 204 is titled “Cancer and Sibling Rivalry.” Joan relates her adoptive father’s battle with cancer and tells of her part in her interference with Gert’s minor children. She then goes into telling her readers of Gert’s anger over this and accuses Gert of harassing her.

 I want to take this chapter bit by bit. And this post is about the first 2 bits – the rest will be discussed in future posts.

The first bit is the title of this chapter – Cancer and Sibling Rivalry.

Ahem. Sibling Rivalry is a term used to describe children who are competing against each other for their position in the nuclear family and affection of their parents. Since we Sippel kids were  grown by 1981, the time discussed in Chapter 21, this term does not apply here. None of us Sippel kids were “rivals” in ANYTHING. We were not competing in anything. There was no jealousy going on – at least not on MY part, or my sisters Gert and Kathy. Joan, on the other hand, is still jealous that WE were not adopted out of our original nuclear family. 

In going over the events discussed in Chapter 21, I see nothing that alludes to Sibling Rivalry. I find the title inappropriate. The events involve Gert’s minor children – Gert is their parent – there is NO room for any rivalry there. As the mother of the children, she is the person who makes the decisions for them – NO ONE ELSE!

 I thought Joan is a social worker and therapist! Did she not learn all this while getting her degree? What kind of a therapist doesn’t understand the basics of sibling rivalry? What kind of social worker doesn’t understand that a parent makes decisions about their children and none other?

The second bit I want to discuss is the cancer – or rather Joan’s adoptive father’s bout with it. Or rather, how Joan discusses it.

On page 207, she describes her father’s first exhibition of symptoms of his brain cancer.  He had not been feeling right for a few weeks. The subject of alcohol keeps coming up here – why? But then he shows the symptoms of a stroke and he is taken to the hospital, with 2 Wheeler cousins in attendance. Tests did not show a stroke, and doctors suspected alcoholism.

When Ed gets home, he regains partial use of his right side and he telephones his siblings with this good news. Then he attends his oldest brother’s funeral, and he had trouble walking and his speech was slurred. His family thought of alcohol – why? Obviously the man has a history of drinking – why does everybody automatically think of alcohol? If my father had exhibited these same symptoms, nobody would automatically think of this because my father rarely drinks.

So at the funeral, Ed’s brothers and sisters thought he was drunk and made fun of him. Joan and her mother are disgusted. Joan “chokes back tears” at the cruel remarks and at the “insensitivity of the family.”

On page 210, Joan relates that now Ed is in the hospital and he “spoke in sentences and phrases that were unintelligible. This angered and frustrated him.” (This is called aphasia, and the anger and frustration is normal). Joan then tells us that she brought him a flower arrangement and without warning, he picked it up and threw it across the room. Joan says “I cried and shouted angrily at him.” Joan and her mother cleaned up the mess and scolded him like a child.

How dare you Joan? How do you dare yell at a patient? You just got done saying he spoke in sentences and phrases that were unintelligible, and he himself is frustrated over his own inappropriate behavior and then you yell at him!

Do you readers see what a contradictory bitch Joan is? On page 208 she berates his family for “making fun” of him, then 2 pages later relates how she herself yelled at him.

I visited Ed in the hospital one time. And witnessed something that must have been a naturally occurring event in the Wheeler household. I was sitting on a chair near the foot of Ed’s bed, on his left side. His wife was sitting across from me, and Joan sat at the foot of the bed. In making conversation, I brought up a news item that I heard on the network news the evening before.

In Florida, an engaged couple were seeking to get married in the Catholic Church. A priest denied to marry them, saying that in the eyes of the Church, the purpose of marriage was to create children, and the man was paralyzed from the waist down, and could not create children. I thought this was terrible. And I brought up this subject. Joan agreed with me, but her mother agreed with the priest. Raising her voice, Dorothy put forth her opinion that if you couldn’t get pregnant, then you shouldn’t be married. I was appalled! Here she was, a woman who couldn’t get pregnant, and she herself was married! But I didn’t say anything, I have too much manners to say that – but not Joan – she raised her voice in disagreement with her mother. And the fight was on! In a hospital room!!! With the patient witnessing it! At this point in time, Ed couldn’t speak. He just looked first at his wife, then his daughter, and a tremendous sad look was in his eyes. I sat there watching the three and felt sadness for Ed, disgust at Joan and her mother, and shame for myself for bringing up the subject.

Earlier in the book, Joan relates how she and her mother are having an argument in the family car, and Ed yells at them “do you know how the two of you sound?” Apparently this has been going on between the two of them, probably as soon as Joan began to talk. I had already related that I left Joan’s daughter’s 4th birthday party because they ruined the party by screeching at each other and I couldn’t stand the noise.

But getting back to the argument in the hospital room, all of a sudden Dorothy did a strange thing – right in the middle of the arguing, she changed the entire thrust of her argument. At first she was in agreement with the priest, then all of a sudden, she was against the priest. She said at first that if the couple couldn’t have children, then they shouldn’t be married. Now, she was saying that if the two people loved each other, what was the priest’s problem? People should marry whom they want!

I sat there stunned. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing! Joan continued with her original stance – against the priest –and then said “that’s what I’m saying Mom, the priest has no business saying they can’t get married.”

Then Dorothy did another astounding thing – she attacked Joan – “That’s not what you said – you said the priest was right.” Excuse me while I pick my jaw up off the floor! If I hadn’t witnessed this myself, I would not have believed that a human being could be capable of such turnabouts in an argument, then yelling at another person and calling them a liar to their face, when in reality it was Dorothy who was the liar.

It was really like the classic Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck cartoon:

Bugs: Yes    Daffy: No

Bugs: Yes    Daffy: No

Bugs: Yes    Daffy: No

Bugs: No      Daffy: Yes

Bugs: No      Daffy: Yes

Except that Joan didn’t switch sides! Dorothy was the one who switched sides and I was in such disbelief and disgust that I believe that was the last time I ever spoke to Dorothy. Up to then, I had respect for her – now I was in contempt of her.

 In the car going home with Joan, I brought the subject up. Joan said, “Yes, that is how she is. Growing up, there were many times I was so confused. She had me going in so many circles, I didn’t know what to think, what to say. I was always in trouble.”

I was angry. This is how that woman raised and treated my younger sister? And we see just how and why Joan is the way she is. But that’s still no excuse. She’s been in therapy since the late 70’s. And she is self-aware enough to know that she didn’t like that kind of contradictory lies that confused her, so why does she do it to other people?

We have already pointed out in this blog how Dorothy and Joan have a love/hate relationship. It’s a relationship of hurting each other to show love. And each one seems to want to win the Big Argument. Each one is a control freak. Each one is determined to make the other one change their basic way of thinking, their god-given right of self-determination, which is to say, have their own opinion of a subject. The Big Argument between these two masochistic women is the Argument of Adoption. Dorothy of course sees nothing wrong in it. That is her opinion. That is her dam right to have her feelings on the subject. Joan, as we know, thinks adoption is wrong. That is also her opinion, her dam right to have her feelings on the subject. But do each of these women RESPECT  each other’s stance? Does Joan RESPECT Dorothy’s opinion on adoption? NO! In the book, and on the internet, she relates how she keeps badgering Dorothy to change her mind! Even as recent as this year, 2010, where Dorothy is NINETY-FIVE YEARS OLD!

For God’s sake, Joan leave her alone! She has the dam right to feel the way she wants! If you don’t like it – then SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT IT! But no, Joan is out to punish Dorothy – for the fucking sin of adopting her and giving her a roof over her head. Granted, this arguing, this contradictory behavior, the calling Joan a liar to her face was wrong, wrong, wrong. Then get the hell away from that toxic person. No, Joan couldn’t do that – because Mama Wheeler was paying all Joan’s bills her entire life. Joan has never been Woman enough to stand on her own two feet – get a dam job and support herself and her 2 kids. No, the stupid bitch even moved back to Mommy’s house after her marriage failed, and the arguments continued, in front of Joan’s kids. What a life those poor kids must have had.

But as much as I have some grain of sympathy for Joan for being subjected to that lying mother of hers, I have no sympathy of Joan’s life as she has chosen to live it. Because of the rotten things she has done to me – my feelings of familial love has withered.

Gert – November 5, 2010

Ruths states:
In the book, and on the internet, she relates how she keeps badgering Dorothy to change her mind! Even as recent as this year, 2010, where Dorothy is NINETY-FIVE YEARS OLD!

The reason Joan badgers her 95 year old mother is because Joan is an ELDER ABUSER.

Joan has in the past attempted many times to do the same to our father and that is the REASON why he has continued to push Joan out of his home, as recently as 2007 or 08, and has told her that they can not be in each other’s presence. My father DOES NOT allow himself to be abused, now at 85 or never!

This is something Joan has never learned, that other people do not live with the constant arguing and yelling and drama and abuse.

The parents are not the only elders that Joan has abused…we have hard evidence and it will be posted on this blog in due time.

So I am naming it as I have seen it, in print, in Joan’s own words and in her own book…Joan is an elder abuser.

2. RuthNovember 5, 2010
elder abuser is correct.
Even in her book she writes that during an argument in the car she yells “Fuck you” to her mother, gives her the finger, then jabs the finger in her mother’s face.
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Comments

1. Gert - November 5, 2010

Ruths states:
In the book, and on the internet, she relates how she keeps badgering Dorothy to change her mind! Even as recent as this year, 2010, where Dorothy is NINETY-FIVE YEARS OLD!

The reason Joan badgers her 95 year old mother is because Joan is an ELDER ABUSER.

Joan has in the past attempted many times to do the same to our father and that is the REASON why he has continued to push Joan out of his home, as recently as 2007 or 08, and has told her that they can not be in each other’s presence. My father DOES NOT allow himself to be abused, now at 85 or never!

This is something Joan has never learned, that other people do not live with the constant arguing and yelling and drama and abuse.

The parents are not the only elders that Joan has abused…we have hard evidence and it will be posted on this blog in due time.

So I am naming it as I have seen it, in print, in Joan’s own words and in her own book…Joan is an elder abuser.

2. Ruth - November 5, 2010

elder abuser is correct.
Even her book she writes that during an argument in the car she yells “Fuck you” to her mother, gives her the finger, then jabs the finger in her mother’s face.


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