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I feel guilty but I don't want to do it.

(36 Posts)
Phobic Sat 23-Feb-19 18:46:54

I have a phobia of flying, really bad, mostly due to claustrophobia rather than crashing and the feeling of being trapped. I take valium and have had CBT and am already on anxiety meds for anxiety.

My Mum on the other hand loves flying and loves going abroad but would not go alone especially now she's older and has been unwell. She has for years very kindly paid for holidays for us knowing that we wouldn't afford to go. Some of these have been abroad.
I've been forcing myself to go and fly so as not to spoil it for everyone even though it completely ruins my holiday as I start being panicked weeks before and then can't relax knowing I have to come back. I was very bad on the plane both ways a couple of years ago and in complete fight or flight (ironic) and said I couldn't do it anymore. It was making me miserable but would ask for CBT.

Last year my Mum desperately wanted to go abroad again and due to her age and health commented it might be her last chance and such so I'll be honest I felt a bit guilty and I was persuaded to go .
The country was lovely but the hotel wasn't what we expected and it wasn't the trip my Mum really wanted so I know she would like to go back but I was really really poorly with anxiety. I said that until I could afford proper help and get on top of my anxiety in general I couldn't fly as it was making me ill.

This afternoon my Mum has started talking to the kids about holidays and her wanting to go on a plane etc again. I even at this point suggested that my Mum go with the ( sensible teen ) children if she wanted to fly and I would stay home. She doesn't feel confident about this incase she takes ill which is understandable.

I feel awful, I feel guilty but I just can't. I've already tried after CBT and cancelled a weekend away which involved a very short flight because I can't do it.
I can't afford the airliner courses at the moment.


MrsTerryPratcett Sat 23-Feb-19 18:48:31

Would your mum get you the course as a birthday/Christmas present?

BlueThesaurusRex Sat 23-Feb-19 18:50:15

Could you go on a cruise or get the Eurostar to France?

Asdfghjklll Sat 23-Feb-19 18:50:40

Can you go somewhere that you could get to without a flight? South of France?! You could travel separately if she wants to fly there.

Jaxhog Sat 23-Feb-19 18:52:21

Why not suggest going on a cruise that means you don't have to fly? Some are quite reasonably priced.

Phobic Sat 23-Feb-19 18:55:00

Possibly but the courses I've seen are very expensive and definitely a lot more than we spend on presents. I think the Heathrow one is well over £300.
I have seen one cheaper with one of the budget lines but I'm worried it will be just throwing money away as friends I know who have done it have said it's more about those who fear the actual flying and crashing and what noises the plane makes.

I've flown loads of times and that's not the part that bothers me. I have a huge phobia of being trapped or closed in away from flying and can't even use lifts anymore blush

Drum2018 Sat 23-Feb-19 18:56:37

Do not be guilted into doing anything that causes you such anxiety. You could do all the courses in the world and still not get over that fear. And her claiming it might be her last time is a pretty shitty thing to hold over you. You have done your bit by giving in on previous occasions. Just say a straight out no, that it's not an option. If you are willing to take the ferry to France then give her that option.

timeisnotaline Sat 23-Feb-19 18:58:54

Well mum, if it’s your last time you definitely don’t want it to be with someone who’s sick from anxiety so I am absolutely out. Sorry!’

MumUnderTheMoon Sat 23-Feb-19 18:58:56

I have started to become very claustrophobic on flights so far I am still managing but it is very stressful. I agree you should try a cruise or a using a ferry or the euro tunnel.

Phobic Sat 23-Feb-19 19:00:58

We've looked at cruises but she didn't fancy it. We've talked about coaches various times. I am more than happy on coaches, my Mum has mentioned coaches herself but it always seems to come back to planes.
I think it's the time spent on coaches. It would be most of the day from where we are just to get to Dover.

We actually had a UK one booked last year but ended up abroad. This year she's mentioned the UK one we cancelled loads of times (which would be lovely for things to do for all of us ) and I said that would be great but she's been wavering for weeks on booking it and now the plane conversation came up.

I've suggested I'd happily travel separately too!

Tavannach Sat 23-Feb-19 19:04:34

I've suggested I'd happily travel separately too!

That seems like the sensible solution. Why doesn't it work?

sighrollseyes Sat 23-Feb-19 19:07:06

Go on the euro star to France or ferry to France/Spain.

Phobic Sat 23-Feb-19 19:10:59

I don't know Tavannach
I said I'd be happy to get the train or coach up to the port and ferry across and meet them there but was told no.
I know she wouldn't like to travel alone so the eldest (16) could go with her but I think she's worried about the kids being on their own if she takes ill (she has some medical issues) but assuming it's only a two hour flight which would have staff to help and I set off before so I'm in to meet them I can't see the problem!

humblesims Sat 23-Feb-19 19:13:16

I think your Mum needs to be a bit more sympathetic and consider alternative holidays. I dont think you should be forcing yourself through this anymore. Its not as if you havent tried and it sounds really stressful. I think you need to make your mum understand how bad it is.

Drum2018 Sat 23-Feb-19 19:13:42

I think you need to stop giving her free reign over the holiday. Tell her you will book the coach trip and leave it at that. If she decides later she doesn't want to go, then go with the kids. Stop letting her make all the decisions.

HollowTalk Sat 23-Feb-19 19:14:23

Go by train, OP. It's ridiculous of her to keep saying this could be her last holiday. None of us know when our last holiday will be!

MamaWeasel Sat 23-Feb-19 19:21:19

Your mum is being unreasonable and deliberately being blind to your perspective. I think you have done admirably thus far, but it is time to put your foot down. smile

OlennasWimple Sat 23-Feb-19 19:22:03

You can be in the south of France very quickly on the train, OP - that's what I would be suggesting. I would love to explore Carcassone, for example

Or there are coach and train tours that go to interesting places, particularly if you dont' mind going as part of a bigger group

MrsTerryPratcett Sat 23-Feb-19 19:22:29

This isn't about a fear of flying. It's about a fear of standing up to your mum!

Train, coach, cruise or nothing!

bridgetreilly Sat 23-Feb-19 19:22:49

You do not have to do this and your mother is being completely unreasonable to expect you to put yourself through it for the sake of her getting a holiday.

YourSarcasmIsDripping Sat 23-Feb-19 19:22:47

As bad as it sounds,she's insisting because it works,you always give in. Which is why she cancels things on coaches and what not,because you'll eventually say yes to a flight. It's time for her to understand that no means no and you can't do it. Not that you won't,you absolutely can't...and stick to it.

Andromeida59 Sat 23-Feb-19 19:22:54

There's a book on Audible called "Cure your fear of flying". I had to take tablets before I used it. I had panic attacks etc. It is amazing and far cheaper than the courses.

Springisallaround Sat 23-Feb-19 19:30:20

You have already been brave- numerous times. I agree with everyone, now is really the point to draw a line and just say you don't want to fly. Don't feel guilty, your mum isn't feeling guilty about making you ill over it.

If, in the future, after you read the books or did a course, you feel able to fly, great, but at the moment, there's no reason to keep putting yourself through this for non-essential travel to please her.

MissCharleyP Sat 23-Feb-19 19:43:58

I did the course with Virgin Atlantic in 2006, it was £199 plus VAT. Honestly it was worth every penny. Could you investigate prices and ask family/friends for a contribution for birthday present? They looked at common fears (including claustrophobia) and had a current member of cabin crew on each table (there were about 80 people), a pilot who talked through the mechanics of a plane, noises, how they are trained in emergencies etc., and a psychologist. I always recommend it. I am never going to love flying but I can do it without the panic and fear that it used to give me.

LunafortJest Sat 23-Feb-19 19:47:46

I think you have put yourself through enough. Your mother has had a few 'last trips' it seems. If she is really concerned, she could hire a nurse. Or get a close friend to go with her. Claustrophobia is not cured as easily as flight phobia is. I get claustrophobic (strangely enough though I absolutely love flying), basically you'll have it for life. You've done your duty enough already. Time to finally put your foot down and say a firm NO. to her. She is making you feel miserable for weeks (and during the holiday as you anticipate the flight back) for her sake. It is not fair on you. Just tell her straight out that you are NOT flying any more, ever. You have done your flying and that is it for you. She WILL need to find someone else. Do not back down. Put yourself first finally.

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