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To never want to fly. Ever.

(72 Posts)
BoyMeetsWorld Fri 12-Oct-12 13:29:30

So I'm terrified of aeroplane flying (& helicopters etc I should think though the situation never arises!!!)

I USED to fly...a lot. But as I've got older & thought through the logistics of it more I've become increasingly terrified. I spend days before a flight feeling physically sick and having panic attacks. On the flight itself I tend to shake & cry for the first half hour then
spend the rest of it trying to distract myself whilst my heart stops at every single sound or movement, I watch the air hostesses faces every second & I pray frantically (I'm not even religious). Each time I swear if we just make it down alive I'll never fly again. And each time I have to I feel I'm pushing my luck.

Before DH & I married he knew I hated flying but we have done 3 times: once to go abroad with my DS. This scared me more than ever having him on the plane too as the idea of him being in a plane crash makes me even more terrified than for myself. I had to repeatedly go to the loo as I was becoming hysterical & couldn't do so around DS. The 2nd time we had to fly as my dad was abroad with a few days to live. The final time was my honeymoon & I really felt I had no option.

DH uses the fact that I've flown in the past including these 3 times with him to argue I can do it & should just get on with it. For the past 2 years he's accepted that we go on holidays in Europe that we can drive/coach etc to or cruises in the future. But last night we had a blazing row when I said I really didn't want to fly again except in emergency. He started listing all the countries we couldn't visit (& loads of them were seriously long haul, prob out of our price range anyway)

AIBU? I appreciate it prob is selfish but honestly nothing in the world terrifies me more except something happening to DS. If our kids wanted to go abroad when older I would let DH take them, or they'll have school trips etc. I'm scared DH may even leave over this one day in the future and as we're currently TTC that situation doesn't bear thinking about...

GoSakuramachi Fri 12-Oct-12 13:31:27

YABU. Get some therapy. Phobias that only affect you are one thing, but this one affects your whole family, and that isn't fair.

Phobia therapy can be very successful.

MrsWolowitz Fri 12-Oct-12 13:33:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CamperFan Fri 12-Oct-12 13:34:45

How horrible for you.

BA run courses for nervous fliers and they get a pilot to sit with them throughout a flight and explain every noise etc (pricey I imagine). Hypnosis.

My friend has 5 kids ranging from 16 to 3 and does not fly, and it doesn't seem to be a problem for them. They drive to Europe for summer holidays and skiiing.

YANBU at all. I don't particularly love flying anymore, but I do it to get to places I want to see. But if for some reason I could never do so again it wouldn't bother me too much. Flying is actually a very weird, scary thing to do if you think about it too much!

JemimaPuddle Fri 12-Oct-12 13:36:43

I have the same fear, eveb down to the praying & making a deal and consequently haven't flown for nearly 10 years.
Once my DCs are a bit older there are places I want to take them so will have to do it one day?

I had 1 session of hypnotherapy before my last flight which really really helped. However the therapist said I would need a course of sessions to help long term and as finances meant I couldn't afford to fly for the following few years I didn't bother.
I will definitely do it again in a few years.

JemimaPuddle Fri 12-Oct-12 13:38:05


BoyMeetsWorld Fri 12-Oct-12 13:40:56

I did expect divided responses to this one.

jemimapuddle I'm really interested that hypnotherapy helped you before a flight. Id always been sceptical it won't work & it's too expensive unless I think it will. Do you mind sharing how much your session cost?

I would love the phobia just to vanish. I love going to other countries myself & of course I want my children to see the world. But I just can't override this huge fear. I have tried relaxants - had Valium on a journey back in Uni (phobia was already beginning then) & it made me feel very ill/ heightened my hearing so I felt completely freaked out but had this ridiculous grin on my face. It was awful. sadsad

McHappyPants2012 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:40:57

hell would freeze over before i would get on a plane (never been on one). Yanbu .

Shakey1500 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:44:10

What triggered your now phobia? Being as you used to fly a lot?

LauraShigihara Fri 12-Oct-12 13:45:24

My DH won't fly either. He has never flown and probably never will. It's never been an issue for us in the many, many years we have been a couple. To be honest, I love him and I wouldn't want to see him distressed over something so easily solved.

We travel around Europe by car if we fancy it or we holiday in the UK. My oldest children are now adults and neither of them have ever said that they missed out in any way.

Nancy66 Fri 12-Oct-12 13:46:22

I'd rather get on a plane than a coach.

I know that phobias are irrational and I'm sure you are aware of all the stats that prove your chosen modes of transport are probably a thousands times more dangeorus than flying.

But I think you need to treat your phobia because it is affecting your whole family.

StrangerintheNight Fri 12-Oct-12 13:52:42

Allan Carr's book 'The easy way to enjoy flying' helped me a lot when I had to make trips for work, but haven't been in a plane now for 5 years. My DH is very tolerant of my aversion to flying because I was such a gibbering wreck on the plane, so he was too embarrassed to go on another flight with me.

Illgetmycoat Fri 12-Oct-12 13:56:34

YANB very U, but I think that you could get help.

I was terrified of flying until the doctor prescribed a small dose of vallium to take on the flight. It REALLY helped me - knocking back the anxiety by about 80%. It's worth a try.

DeWe Fri 12-Oct-12 13:56:48

Why do you need to fly?

We holiday in the UK. We're discussing a "once" holiday which would involve flying, but we wouldn't have to. There's plenty of places in the UK that are lovely to holiday. It's probably cheaper too.

Ladyhaha Fri 12-Oct-12 13:57:43

I had hypnotherapy before a flight to America and it made a huge difference. For the first time ever, I actually relaxed and possibly even enjoyed it. The hypnotherapy helped me control my breathing, and taught me to stop feeding my anxiety. I'd got to the point where I was so anxious during a flight that if I calmed down for a second, I'd force myself to panic again.

The hypnotherapist also helped me identify the trigger for my fear - my first holiday without my parents where I had a 9 hour delay, a massive argument with my boyfriend in the airport and a niggling feeling that my family were hiding something from me. They were - I found out when I got home that he'd been diagnosed with terminal cancer. All this stress somehow manifested itself as a fear of flying, which thanks to the therapy is so much better. My session cost £45 and I was given a CD to listen to before every flight

CMOTDibbler Fri 12-Oct-12 14:00:01

A friend was like this - she did the BA nervous flyer thing, then got some beta blockers from the GP, and has managed to fly since without winding herself up.

Don't let this rule your families life and cause rows - get on the course, download a hypnotherapy MP3, see your GP and book a flight - if you can find cheap Ryanair/Easyjet ones do out and back flights on a single day to reprogramme your brain that this is a boring thing to do.

musicmadness Fri 12-Oct-12 14:00:41

Honestly, as someone who is scared of flying due to an experience of extreme turbulence resulting in an emergency landing, I would say YABU.

You need to get over the fear of flying, the chance that anything will happen while you are on a plane is slim to none. You are far more likely to be killed in a car crash than a plane crash (which I'm sure you already know). I tend to repeat that in my head whenever I step foot on a plane. I also tend to repeat in my head that there are at least 250000 people (normally more) flying at any one time, and honestly how often do you hear about a fatal plane crash? I know that won't work for everyone but it tends to help keep me calm.

I think BA run a course for nervous flyers, or maybe you could try taking a mild sedative before you fly to help you keep calm. Do you know what triggered your fear of flying if you could do it without any problems before?

Nancy66 Fri 12-Oct-12 14:01:07

DeWe - bacause travelling, experiencing other cultures, seeing other lands is one of the most amazing things you can do.

EldritchCleavage Fri 12-Oct-12 14:03:01

BIL's brother has this phobia and did a course. He's still not a happy flyer, but he can do it. He gets Valium from the doctor as well, which helps.

Please don't rule out trying treatment. You never know when you might need to fly. What if one of the DC needed experimental medical treatment only available in the US? Or married abroad? Or a relative died on holiday and you had to go over to sort things out?

SofaKing Fri 12-Oct-12 14:04:28

I think you should consider hyponotherapy or counselling for anxiety.

If it doesn't work, at least you can prove to your dp that you have tried your best to overcome your phobia.
You can holiday abroad without flying, my sister went to Italy by train, but her DC are older. If you are planning to have DC you probably wouldn't be able to take them away by plane.

My dc are looking forward to going on a plane on Tuesday. I'm terrified sad but I can't show it in case they end up as scared as me. I wish I could just be OK with flying.

Lifeisontheup Fri 12-Oct-12 14:06:14

I take valium before a flight, never used to be scared, it has developed over the last few years but I'm refusing to let it stop me doing things that I want to do.
GP was more than happy to prescribe a low dose of valium.

LauraShigihara Fri 12-Oct-12 14:07:52

Actually, no one needs to get over a fear of flying. Lets face it, unless you are super-wealthy, you are unlikely to be visiting every country and experiencing every culture in one lifetime.

I think it would be horribly unfair for one member of the family to force another member of the family to do something that clearly terrifies them just so he has a good time.

After all, I have a horror of spiders. My DH doesn't shove them in my face and tell me to get over it and that it's not fair that I never go in the shed so he has to put the lawnmower away.

And a spider would never crash and kill me wink

Wheresmypopcorn Fri 12-Oct-12 14:08:17

Yalu but you have good reason as you have a phobia. I only say this as I am the same way about getting in a car for distance drives. I had a car accident about 10 years ago and since then I still struggle as the first thought in my head is "I'm going to die" when someone is driving me more than an hour. I still have managed to travel along some horrible roads while backpacking and it does not stop me from driving but is currently causing a problem as my partner wants to do a hol 10 hours drive away. I will eventually agree to go but will be constantly stressed till it's over, but I have to choose whether I am going to let this impact on my marriage. can you speak to a therapist and get to the root of the source of the problem? is it the lack of control, the small space, or the fear of never seeing your family again? Failing that could you get a sleeping tablet (although would ask doctor about this, obviously)

ShowOfBloodyStumps Fri 12-Oct-12 14:08:27

If you like visiting other countries and it's causing you sadness then I think tackling it is a very good idea and there's lots of help available.

I don't fly and I don't travel abroad much either. I'm going on a ferry next year and I've been in the eurotunnel but these aren't holidays I've planned. I've been invited away with friends/family before and I'm going to a wedding next year so it's necessary. However, I don't choose to fly or go to far flung places. I resent the implication that I'm somehow missing out or dull or deficient for not wanting to travel the world. Nancy, you may say it's 'one of the most amazing things you can do' but that's subjective. I don't enjoy travelling tbh. I am aware that people judge me as dull and unadventurous, in fact I have a friend who has never stayed in one place for more than 6 months and loves not knowing what the future holds who thinks my married/children/9-5 existence sounds like prison but her lifestyle sounds like a waking nightmare to me.

I'm not remotely worried about flying. I just don't want to. In fact I don't even have a passport. I travel round the uk quite a bit. Suits me.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Fri 12-Oct-12 14:11:08

The thing with phobias is they are irrational, so telling you rational facts and figures about how safe flying is probably won't help you. Your rational mind will understand that but your irrational mind will overrule it. You need to get to the root of the cause of your fear, and there must be one because you've said you used to fly regularly. Do you know when this started? Was there an incident on a flight, or a particularly difficult journey? Counselling or hypnotherapy could help - I think where I live it's roughly £50 per hour but even if you need 3 or 4 sessions, surely that would be an investment on your and your family's future?

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