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Can Joan Wheeler survive herself? Doubt it. Unless, she changes, from her rage, anger and hate, to self-compassion, which will lead to her accepting her life as an adoptee.

by on August 26, 2012

The secret to a good life is the ability to love one’s self. This is not a selfish act, it a very important survival act. But, like many things about human nature, loving one’s self can move to a more negative and dangerous aspect. Here I would like to try to show some of the positive aspects of self-compassion, for its needed, for many who are faced with overwhelming burdens, not of their own making, and hopefully to show those, like Joan, that they create their own burdens. It may be time to drop the bullshit and get a life, before your life ends! Picture yourself at 80!

In my Hospice training we learn many ways to help those that are dying, their families and care-givers. This training also helps us Hospice volunteers before we get to that ‘burnt-out’ stage. I want to distill some of a training session with Joan Wheeler in mind. Why, because she shows all the classic signs of burn-out and yet she keeps going and going; no wonder she is becoming a caricature of herself. In other words, she is a joke and when that happens, these types can be the most dangerous kinds of persons because they start to see themselves as super-human; think crazies with guns and mass-murderers.

Joan seriously sees herself as a great savior/liberator, of all adoptees, from the horrors and trauma of adoption. Problem is, she is not (a savior/liberator) and many see her as a raving lunatic! In internet discussions, we see over and over again, that no one takes Joan seriously, unless they are of the same kind of bend. Unfortunately there are far too many angry adoptees in Joan’s ‘gang’ of lunatics. There is a group of these angry adoptees that go out on public discussions sites to make a huge display of their hate and rage over adoption and being an adoptee. And time and time again, they are being told they are wrong-headed and being belligerent. But, if you have, like Joan does, a liberator/savior attitude, she and her followers, are totally blind to reality. This happens when someone believes their own propaganda; think any dictator, past or present.

When a person has nothing more in their life, but the pursuit of hate and anger, much damage occurs mentally, physically and spiritually to them personally and to those around them. It would be a wise person that learns to drop the hate and anger and get back to self-compassion. Joan Wheeler are you listening? If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting. Do you really like suffering? If you don’t, stop doing the things that cause your suffering.

Using the title, of this Hospice training, Surviving Ourselves, Change, Loss and Self-Compassion and some ‘bullets’ of topics, let’s begin to explore…

With change there is always loss. Some changes in life are in place, position, person and consciousness…we all go through these many times over a life-time. Losses can be minor or major and the impact of loss depends upon the value the person placed on what was lost. Change is what the world is about…NOTHING stays the same and we must ALWAYS be willing to ‘go with the flow’ and ACCEPT what we cannot change.

With loss, we grief and mourn; there are many stages, levels and experiences of grief and mourning. There are no time-tables, of course but, at some point if we don’t begin to ‘live’ our life, with the loss/change, we are in serious mental, physical and spiritual trouble.

There is a cycle of Change that leads to growth. With a change, we lose, we grieve, we mourn and then we grow.

Where is Joan’s growth?  There is none, for she is stuck in her inability to get over being angry at her life-circumstances; not a healthy state of being. She is stuck in never learning her true nature and/or accepting the true and final nature of many of life’s circumstances. She is stuck in not seeing reality for reality’s sake and because of that, she suffers, needlessly.

There was, in this training session, a cartoon to illustrate this:

A couple was sitting at the kitchen table; one was upset because the chair for the ‘gingerbread boy’ was empty. The one who was not upset said, ‘He was gingerbread, he ran-away, get over it and move on’.

For those NOT familiar with the story here is a brief telling…

In the 1875 St. Nicholas tale, a childless old woman bakes a gingerbread man who leaps from her oven and runs away. The woman and her husband give chase but fail to catch him. The gingerbread man then outruns several farm workers and farm animals while taunting them with the phrase: I’ve run away from a little old woman, A little old man, And I can run away from you, I can!

The tale ends with a fox catching and eating the gingerbread man who cries as he’s devoured, “I’m quarter gone…I’m half gone…I’m three-quarters gone…I’m all gone!” – a detail often omitted in subsequent versions.

Variations on the original tale do occur. In one of these variations, the fox feigns indifference to the edible man. The cookie then relaxes his guard and the fox snatches and devours him. In some versions, The Gingerbread man halts in his flight at a riverbank, and after accepting the fox’s offer as a ferry, he finds himself eaten mid-stream.

In some retellings, The Gingerbread man taunts his pursuers with the famous line: Run, run as fast as you can; You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man.

In 1992 Jon Sciezka published The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. “The Stinky Cheese Man” is a rendition of “The Gingerbread Man” where the cheese man runs away from everyone fearing they will eat him, when really everyone just wants to get away from his smell.

Returning to my own tale…

Perhaps some people are running away from Joan because she smells! Point is that Joan Wheeler just doesn’t accept her life’s reality, and she is running away from it as fast as she can, but she can never ran away from her life, of being an adoptee. She does not accept what she is, like the gingerbread boy and she taunts and yells and thinks she can outsmart everyone…ah, but not forever!

The point I’m trying to make is this…where is Joan’s growth, when does she start to accept life and MOVE ON. It is not healthy to be in a heighten state of loss and grief and anger and hate all of one’s life! Joan is pushing 60! It’s well pass time to accept that ‘he was gingerbread, he ran-away’…you were given away and adopted and were most likely abused as a child, BUT, you have a life…live it without all this hate and anger and rage!

If Joan’s grief, was not, or is not, recognized nor accepted, she must understand that she isn’t the only one, in the world. At some point in a life, one MUST move on and get out of the negative behavior of making everyone hear and accept her grief and beef all the time over and over again! Her context, her story, her language is NOT being hear because of her anger, hate and rage. She needs to revise her tactics…but like I said, she has become a caricature of herself and she doesn’t even know it. She is that gingerbread boy…ignorant of his own nature and circumstances and too stupid to realize that he is bound to be eaten by his own arrogance!

There are ways that individuals grieve; intuitive (feelings) and instrumental (task oriented).

I would say that Joan Wheeler operates on her ‘feeling’ level. All of her writing and badgering is NOT task oriented; all her words and actions come from the feeling level…wrong place to be and be heard! After all these years it’s time to drop the feeling side and learn to accept the life she has.

We learn from wounds and we teach through wounds.

Learning from our loss (the wound) instead of staying inside and letting the wound fester would be a better way to deal with our loss. Joan’s bitching and browbeating and condemning people and institutions are not healing the wound; it keeps putting salt on the wound, it keeps the wound festering and stinking! Anyone who has stress trauma, which Joan says she has, ought to know that by going into constant battle, as she does, will not calm her down! She needs to get off the battle fields to get her wounds HEALED.

Where are her therapists? Why do they NOT tell Joan to get off the battle-field of fighting for adoption reform? Those constant internet discussions and forums that she goes on are NOT THE PLACE FOR HEALING. When Joan finally does collapses, no one will come to her aid! She is wasting her life for nothing!

Where is god in Joan’s life? She could try to give each day to god and see how that works for her. But no, she has turned her back on God…no wonder she is a lost soul crying every day because she is an adoptee!

Countertransference…Joan most definitely does this a lot because she can’t see outside of herself and she has to have someone else explain her pain to her! It doesn’t matter whether it’s Joan’s therapist or another adoptee or some book, whatever confirms her feelings, she’ll believe. It is totally an unhealthy way of looking at and dealing with one’s life and one’s losses.

Definitions are in order:

Transference; the process where a person’s feelings, thoughts and wishes shifts from one person to another.

Countertransference; 1, psychological transference esp. by a psychotherapist during the course of treatment; esp: the psychotherapist’s reactions to the patient’s transference 2, the complex of feelings of a psychotherapist toward the patient

The problems with ‘countertransference’ are;

Makes us painfully aware of our own losses

Contributes to our apprehension regarding potential or feared losses

Arouses existential anxiety in our personal death awareness.

This is why Joan Wheeler is always in pain because she is too focused on her losses and she is on high-alert of all manner of additional losses and she dreads her own death!

Compassion Fatigue is:

The mental, physical, emotional and spiritual exhaustion that results from taking better care of others than you do yourself and the emotional residue of exposure to working with those who are suffering.

This fatigue show up as chronic stress and all related medical/emotional ailments. Whenever Joan ‘takes on’ another news article and pro-adoption people, she is engaging her chronic stress disorder and releasing all the wrong and bad hormones into her system, which causes her to fall into her depression aspect after her manic aspect has been unleashed and spent. We, the birth siblings, have seen this over and over again and we saw it in that libelous book she wrote! We see it now in Joan’s internet activities; it’s all there in plain sight for anyone to see. Joan needs to get away from her reform movement to get healthy. She needs a more calming life-style to smooth her raw emotions, but Joan will never do that…she is a martyr to the cause! Think stupid!

There are truths about Compassion Fatigue; that it is a process not a fixed condition, that there is deterioration in empathy and sensitivity to suffering, a gradual erosion of idealism and an absence of perceived achievement. In other words, Joan Wheeler is a very sick person who refuses to stop and get well! She no longer has compassion for others and their suffering because she has none for herself; she does no one any good. She sees no ‘achievement’ from her long-suffering role as advocate and doesn’t see that it is because she no longer has any ‘true’ idealism behind her. She is a joke! She thinks that if she browbeats people they will be ‘saved’…think ‘salvation religions’. If she truly had compassion she would NOT browbeat and condemn people who ADOPT.

Indeed, ‘compassion is the recognition and clear seeing of suffering. It involves recognizing our shared human condition, flawed and fragile as it is’…Neff.

Compassion is the place that allows the person to suffer the suffering he has always needed to suffer’…Jung.

Joan Wheeler does not allow others to have their own suffering, she walks right over them; her suffering is greater than the other.

Joan Wheeler has no self-kindness or a sense of common humanity or mindfulness of her words and actions to others. She has no humility and/or loving kindness.

She does not have unconditional friendliness towards herself, for if she were to be kind to herself she’d have to give up her need to be an angry hate filled adoptee! She needs no faith in a god, for she is God!

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