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rachel sontag

rachel sontag

From Rachel’s memoirs:
On the surface, he was a well-respected, suburban physician………. 
Disobedience meant humiliating punishments….

Disobedience meant humiliating punishments?

Rachel, what do you mean humiliating?

We once brought home two dozen boxes so that you would be free to carry out your threats to move out of the house.

We thought you would be happy – especially with the tough, sturdy new cardboard boxes that would repel rain.

But no. Instead of being appreciative of the strong handsome boxes, you just gave us one of your looks and returned to your room. That’s no way to treat people bearing gifts. It took a lot of work on our part to find those nice boxes and to put them all outside your room. We even offered to help you move.

After our thoughtful gifts, we never heard any more threats to move out. But that certainly is not humiliating. Is it?

Just one more thought, Rachel, before you re-read your own words in your own handwriting.  Once you apologized for your tantrums and vile speech, we did not re-visit the episode. We considered the matter finished – which is, we believe, how true apologies should be handled. However, since the swearing episodes and tantrums occurred with such frequency, we began to suspect that they had become part of your personality. Despite your unhappiness and anger, we never gave up on you.

Now, Rachel, please read your own letters regarding your behavior.

Click here to see Wishes    11-26-1990
Click here to see ApologyRequest  4-30-1990
Click here to see Apology1990   5-01-1990
Click here to see Apology1991   8-18-1991
Click here to see 2 months later -  fine 10-23-1991

Rachel, you should know that you are very lucky to have had parents who meted out discipline in a just and compassionate way. Some parents might have thrown you out of the house. We were waiting for the day that you would be totally independent and living your own life. Then, hopefully, your need for tantrums would be gone. We had always thought that when you became an adult, you would grow up and take control of your life.

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