The only reason I would put the medicine out on the counter when she would not go for days is so that she would go on her own before she became constipated again. It just let her know that if she held it too long, it would cause problems again and we might have to use the medicine. Sorry if I made it sound like I was being cruel.
I don't think we have to be cruel to do things that frighten our children into being "obedient." When that happens, we are planting the seeds of irrational fear in their adulthood.
For a variety of reasons, bottoms are very protected in our species. (Think of how you protect your own!) Your child's running to the toilet at the very sight of an enema is your proof she was afraid
. No amount of rewording changes that image or, assuming you were being accurate, the fact.
Sometimes as parents it is important to remember that just getting them to do what we want them to do, regardless of our tactic, may not be the best course of action. Teaching them in a loving way to want to do what we want them to do is a better plan. Safety is the lone exception (I don't worry too much about a child's interpretation of the parent's roughly grabbing them when it is the only way to get them out of the way of a train, for example.)
You do sound like you have some real insights and caring. Toilet training is complicated. I'm glad you came to our site for help--and that you received some.