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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 18, 1997, New Braunfels, Texas “When the history of media in the latter part of the 20th century is written, It may well be concluded that we are in a golden age of information.” Steve Rattner journalist County leaders deserve thanks for flood relief efforts Efforts by Comal County commissioners and County Judge Carter Casteel to get disaster relief for flood victims in this county did no go unheeded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and residents of this county should be grateful for their efforts. Casteel sent a letter to Gov. George W. Bush Tuesday — a copy which was sent to FEMA — asking for Comal County to receive the designation of disaster area. The designation paves the way for relief to make its way to residents of this county who lost their homes and other property in the flooding that began July 21. Fifty-five families’ homes and businesses were flooded; 14 families required temporary housing; 75 homes were without water, electricity or telephones for several days; and 140 families were waterbound. County Fire Marshal Milton Willman estimated the financial impact of the flood as at least $700,000. “It’s going to be more than that because there were a lot more buildings and businesses that we didn’t have dollar figures on,” Willman said. “We were pretty happy (to be included in the declaration).” Many times, it is easier to sit back and take what the federal and state governments send our way because we feel like there is nothing else we can do. Comal County commissioners and Judge Casteel proved that there is much we can do when we make the effort and ask. As elected officials, they looked out for the best interests of the county's residents by securing needed funding. Their efforts to get disaster relief will go a long way toward helping the flood victims rebuild their lives and their homes. (Todays editorial was written by Heruld-Zeitung Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson.) Write us ... The New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung welcomes letters on any public issue. The editor reserv es the right to correct spelling, style, punctuation and known factual errors. Letters should be kept to SSO word*. We publish only original mail addressed to the New Braunfels Her-ald-Zeitung bearing the writer’s signature. Also, an address and a telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included. Please cite the page number and date of any article that is mentioned. Pieference is given to writers who have not been published in the previous 30 days. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor od the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung PO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, Texas 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 625-1224 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Editor and Publisher, Ext. 301...................................... Doug    Toney Managing Editor. Ext 220.................................Margaret    Edmonson Marketing Director, Ext 308..................................Jason    Borchardt Classified Advertising Manager, Ext. 214...............Karen    Reinmger Business Manager, Ext. 202................................  Mary    Lee    Hail Circulation Director, Ext 228...................................Carol    Ann Avery Pressroom Foreman, Ext. 205..........................................Billy    Parnell Published on Sunday mom trigs and weekday mornings Tuesday through Friday by the New Braunfels Herald Zettung CUSPS 377-880) 707 Lada Sl. or P Q Dower 311328, New Braunfels, Comal County, Tx. 78131-1328. Periodical postage paid by the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung in New Braunfels, Texas    ^ Carnet delivered in C omal and Guadalupe counties: three months, $20.50; six months, $37; one yew, $66. Senior Cmaen Discounts by earner delivery only ax months, $33; one year, $62. Mail delivery outside Comal County in Texas three months, $30.30; six months, $55; one year, $103.50. Mail outside Texas: six months, $78; one year, $118.25. Subscribers who have not received a newspaper by 5:30 pm Tuesday through Friday or by 7:30 a.m. on Sunday may call (830) 625-9144 or by 7 pm. weekly* or by ll am. on Sunday. Post mast**: Send address changes to the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, P.O. Drawer 311328, New Braunfels, Tx. 78131-1328.Today in History 4A □ Herald-Zeitung □ Friday, July 18,1997 Opinion ■ To talk with Managing Editor Margaret Edmonson about the Opinion page, call 625-9144, Ext. 220. OnHno contact ■ To submit letters and guest columns electronically by way of online services or Internet, or to members, address is* Cotton candy. That is what the career mom feels like most of the time. She is spun of tiny filaments connecting her to her daughter, home, work, friends — all the myriad commitments that seem to define her life. When hands pull at the mass of filaments, they come apart, leaving nothing of substance behind. A week ago, the career mom packed up her daughter for a trip to Virginia with her hither. And the career mom began a week filled with a rare, precious commodity which she had not known for 15 years — solitude. The week started out with a very long to-do list stuck to the refrigerator. As it progressed, though, the list grew shorter. Not because the items were accomplished, but because, one by one, their importance diminished enough to earn them places on the “sometime” list (meaning the “I’m going to put off doing this indefinitely, and eliminate worrying about it altogether” list). The career mom could claim a few genuine accomplishments during her week of solitude. She mastered a movement from a Ravel sonatine and one from a Mozart sonata. After several tries, she successfully reattached the rain gutter to die front of her house (not without losing a minor skirmish to a shrub in the process). She taught her large, young dog, Dakota, the meaning of the word. “down” (with about an 80 percent success rate). She re-read a book. The book was already dog-eared, underlined and wet around the edges. Her mother had given it to her for her 21st birthday. a little philosophy book written by Anne Morrow Lindbergh called “Gift from the Sea.” Lindbergh had six children and a writing career. She also had substan- Susan Ftynt England tia!ly*more financial wherewithal than most Comal County residents. She was able to do what every mother deserves to do — take two full weeks off each year to live in solitude at a cabin by foe beach. Some mothers might choose a cabin in the woods or a condo in foe -middle of a big city, but foe important component is foe solitude. . Throughout her two weeks of solitude, and throughout her book, Lindbergh peels away the layers of material complexity from her life and rediscovers who she is. Using different shells as metaphors, she examines foe tics binding her to those for whom she is responsible — then sets them aside, until only her self is left. “The pattern of our lives is essentially circular,” Lindbergh says. “We must be open to all points of foe compass: husband, children, friends, home, community; stretched out, exposed, sensitive like a spider’s web to each breeze that blows, each call that comes.” Lindbergh’s gently wry humor sur faces in her musings. “I begin to understand why foe saints were rarely married women,” she says. “I am convinced it has nothing inherently to do, as I once supposed, with chastity or children. It has to do primarily with distractions.” Originally published in 1955, Lindbergh’s book contains surprisingly fresh views on modern American society and woman’s role in it “... today more of us in America than anywhere else in foe world have the luxury of choice between simplicity and complication of life,” she says. “And for the most part, we, who could choose simplicity, choose complication.” Few of us can afford two weeks of solitude at the beach. But even an occasional (tty of true solitude, where we have no goal but to be, is not a mother’s luxury — it is a necessity. (Susan Flynt England is the Herald-Zeitung news editor.) The Dittlinger Memorial Library has two copies of "Gift from the Sea. ” Both are in circulation. PMT. Fred. cdn we KMCK off early irnponanriljndi raiser ihis> afternoon!! I »*vF -Uotl Recovery of alcoholism legacy is personal By The Associated Press Today is Friday, July 18, the 199th day of 1997. There are 166 days left in foe year. Today's Highlight in History: Fifty years ago, on Joly IS, 1947, President Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act, which placed the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore next in the line of succession after foe vies president On lids dote: In A.D. 44, the Great Fire of Rome began. la 1534, the authority of the pope was declared void in England. In 1792, American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45. In 1872, Britain introduced the concept of voting by secret ballot. In 1927, Ty Cobb hit safely for foe 4,000th time rn his career. In 1932, the United States and Canada signed a treaty to develop the St Lawrence Seaway. In 1934, the Spanish Civil War began as Gen. Francisco Franco led an uprising of army troops based in Spanish North Africa. lo 1944, Hideki Tojo was removed as Japanese premier and war minister because of setbacks suffered by Ids country in World War ll. In 1949, a car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. His passenger, 28-yeer-oid Mary Jo Kopechne, died. In 1984, a gunman opened fire at a McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., killing 21 people before being shot dead by police. Ten years ago: President Reagan used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to give more aid to the Nicaraguan Contras. Molly Yard was elected the new president of the National Organization for Women, succeeding Eleanor Smeal. Five years ago: Britain’s opposition Labor Party chose John Smith as its leader, replacing Neil Kinnock. One year ago: Recovery efforts continued off Long Island, N.Y., for the bodies of the 230 people who died in the fiery crash of TWA Ftighft 800; President Clinton urged Americans not to immediately assume foe crash was the work of ter rorists. Today's Birthdays: Actor Hume Cronyn is 86. Comedian Red Skelton is 84. South African President Nelson Mandela is 79. Sen. John Glenn, D-Ohio, is 76. Skating champion and commentator Dick Button is 68. Singer Screamin’ Jay Hawldas is 68. Author-joumalist Hunter S. Thompson is 60. Movie director Paul Verhocvcn (“Basic Instinct”) is 59. Singer Dion DiMucci is 58. Actor James Brolin is 57. Singer Martha Reeves is 56. Blues guitarist Lonnie Mack is 56. Silver Ricky Skaggs is 43. Rock musician Nigel Twist (The Alarm) is 39. Actress Audrey Linders is 38. Actress Elizabeth McGovern is 36. Rock musician John Hermann (Widespread Panic) is 35. I am the grandchild of an alcoholic. This may not seem unique -and it’s not - but foe impact this has had on my life has been profound. My grandfather has been dead for IO years now, but still surviving him is his legacy of compulsive and addictive behavior patterns including alcohol abuse, drug abuse, eating disorders, depression, workaholism, co-dependency and anxiety disorder among others. First marriages in our family carry a divorce rate of 99 percent. Don’t let this fool you, though. This same legacy of descendants from another point of view include successful people who run their own businesses, work for large corporations, manage banks, teach school, teach Sunday school, write, play competitive sports and are for the most part college-educated and beyond. In other words, these people excel, in general, in many areas of their lives. It is now estimated that 90 to 95 percent of us are adult children of dysfunctional families. Many are adult children of alcoholics, as characterized in the best-selling book by Janet Woititz titled “Adult Children of Alcoholics.” families operate in a world of extremes, yet they always seek a healthy balance. One moment we may feel lonely, isolated and afraid. Then we begin to feel enmeshed, smothered and angry. First of all, we are people who hit a certain age and suddenly hnd that something is wrong that we can no longer fix by ourselves. We are people who love our spouses and care deeply for our children, but find ourselves growing distant, detached and fearful in these relationships. Or we feel that everything in our lives is perfect until our sons or daughters become chemically dependent, bulimic, run away from home or attempt suicide. We abuse ourselves but take care of everyone else. When we are unhappy, we are terribly afraid to acknowledge it. We constantly watch others to try to find out what’s okay and what isn’t. We get stuck in lives our hearts never chose. We sacrifice <ur dignity for false security. We are sur\ vers who deep down inside pray Tit someday life will be more than ast mere survival. Adult children develop emotional/psychological symptoms and physical symptoms. Common manifestations include addictions, compulsions, unhealthy dependencies, depression, stress symptoms, phobias and anxiety. All our symptoms are unhealthy mechanisms that we use to keep from feeling our feelings. Fixing What’s Wrong With Us A family is only as well as its sickest member. Ten years ago, I sought counseling for relationship issues and found myself being referred to a recovery program for co-dependency. As I began to explore my own issues, I found a connection to ochers in my family. This allowed me to see a “bigger picture” and my place in it. In recovery, the focus must be on you. This information is not for your husband, wife, lover, children, boss or employees. Recovery from adult child issues is a personal experience. According to John and Linda Friel, co-authors of “Adult Children:    The Secrets of Dysfunctional Families,” “The most powerful way to help others into their own recovery is to simply live your own life of recovery.” (Michelle Barr is program coordinator for the Comal County‘s Women s Center.) Even if there is no chemical dependency in the family, the entire family can operate just like an alcoholic family if the rules that govern the system are the same. Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACoAs) and Grandchildren of Alcoholics (GCoAs) carry the genetic predisposition toward an addictive personality. This, combined with learned behavior patterns passed down from generation to generation, leads to the illnesses listed above. Regardless of our symptoms or circumstances, we are adult children of dysfunctional families because: something happened to us a long time ago. It happened more than once. It hurt us. We protected ourselves foe only way we knew how. We are still protecting ourselves. Only it isn’t working anymore. Who We Are Adult children of dysfunctional Michollo Barr ;