rachel sontag rachelsontag.com
It is important for you to understand that we have absolutely no regrets about how we raised you and what we happily sacrificed for your benefit. If the opportunity arose, we would do it all again, exactly the same way, teaching the same values, following the same rules.
We would invest the same love, the same energy, the same time, and we would make sure you had the same opportunities and the same advantages you had before.
You would be expected -
- You would be expected to NOT gossip or slander in our house or, hopefully, in anyone’s house.
- You would be expected to do your share of the work.
- You would be expected to finish your homework before listening to TV or music and before talking on the phone.
- You would be expected to be home by the Evanston legal curfew time – and no later.
- You would be expected to be considerate of the other members of the household.
- You would be expected while in junior high and high school to dress appropriately and respectfully.
- You would be expected to refrain from telling falsehoods about, not only your family, but about anyone.
- You would be expected - after your work was done and your responsibilities completed - to enjoy life, to have fun, and to be proud of yourself. This is a commandment from G_d - the pursuit of happiness.
This is what it was, and this is what it would be if we did it all over again.
If you are unhappy -
If you are angry -
- If you are unhappy because you are not famous and successful, do not blame us!
- If you are unhappy because after a decade of trying you did not get a job with your idol, Sally Jessy Raphael, do not blame us!
- If you are unhappy because you have not met someone you love, do not blame us!
- If you are unhappy because your friends are now married and involved with their own families, do not blame us!
- If you are unhappy because you resent your sister’s happiness, do not blame us!
If you are furious -
- If you are angry because you resent your parent’s happiness, get over it!
- If you are angry because you resent your parent’s committed relationship, get over it!
- If you are furious because your repeated bogus suicide threats - which you thought would bring you victory - ultimately failed to destroy the home and split your parents, examine closely your values!
- If you are furious because mom (justifiably taking longer than dad to understand your motives) finally told you in no uncertain terms that you had lost the war to split your parents, examine closely your values!
- If you are furious because nobody in your immediate family agreed with what you were doing, examine closely your values!
- If you are unhappy or angry or furious (Rachel, this is most important) and you have always felt this way and don’t know why, then it is up to you to seek the proper help.
- Any friend who tells you that you are right and that you do not need help is not your friend.
- Any friend who encourages you to continue down the same path of anger and fury is not your friend.
Rachel’s Last Stand
Nine years ago, in response to mom’s no-nonsense, once-and-for-all exchange with Rachel making clear that Rachel would not – under any circumstances - be allowed to destroy the family or mom’s relationship with dad, Rachel wrote to mom a 5-page, single-spaced letter. The letter - a rant of threats and promises - was similar in style to Devarim (Deuteronomy), the fifth book of the Torah (Hebrew Bible containing the laws of G_d given to Moses at Mount Sinai).
In The Torah:
- G_d warns the Israelites of the terrible fate awaiting them if they abandon the Laws and
- G_d reassures the Israelites of the great future in store for them – if they follow the Laws.
In Rachel’s Letter:
- Rachel warns mom of the terrible fate awaiting her if she does not follow Rachel’s threats to dissolve the family and divorce dad and
- Rachel reassures mom of the great future in store for Rachel and mom – when mom leaves dad.
Unlike the Torah, Rachel’s letter is filled with incoherent and vile speech: five pages of despicable language, charges, threats and intimidation. The letter
- which talked about such events as stolen safes that contained years of tape-recorded phone calls, police, psychoactive drugs, mania, depression, locking out in the cold night and not allowing Rachel to use the toilet, refusing to pay Rachel’s tuition, etc. etc. etc. – was frightening.
Although the contents of this letter - as well as the letter itself - contains more insight into the nature of Rachel’s problems than does this entire website, the letter will never see the light of day. We have decided that some things are just not appropriate for public display.
- First: The letter is too vile to be published.
- Second: We both, as Rachel’s parents and as adults, feel uncomfortable making it public.
To Rachel from Mom and Dad:
We want you to know that despite what you did or tried to do, despite the exaggerations and despite the fabrications, we are not angry. We understand that your actions are those of one who is unhappy, frustrated, desperate and filled with anger. But, we want you to know that your attempts to blame your parents are foolish, thoughtless and irrational. They will not hurt us; they will not destroy our home; they will not bring you the happiness you would like. The Sontag home is still here – alive and well. It is as strong as ever and it has the same values, the same security, the same warmth and the same love that you knew as a child. It will be here, we hope, for a long time to come.
You do not have to be unhappy, angry or furious for the rest of your life. It is not easy to ask for help. The hardest part for anyone is to know when help is needed.
We have given you all the love, all the help, all the time and all the opportunity any child could ever dream of. What you made of those gifts was your own free choice. And where you go from here will also be your own free choice.