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To think this is a fair compromise??

39 replies

JoandMax · 27/06/2015 05:29

We live overseas and had been due to go back to the UK on Thursday for 2.5 weeks - long weekend in Centre Parcs, 10 days with my parents then time with a couple of friends.

But I am petrified of flying, its been getting hugely worse over the last few years. I have had a course of hypnotherapy which I had really hoped worked but pretty much over the last few days I have been close to a breakdown. I had to get DH to come home from work as I was having some terrible thoughts and feelings and I couldn't move.....

I just cannot get on that plane, I need more help and there's no time to do it. I think it is probably a very deep seated anxiety problem and I've been in denial for so long but cannot do that anymore.

But the DCs (5 and nearly 7) were so excited and it would break their hearts to not go. So DH and I are considering them going home just with him for a week, doing a couple of days at centre parks (with DHs sibling and the DCs cousin) then a few days at my parents. DH is a fantastic father, very hands on so no doubts at all at his capabilities.

If you were my family would you understand this? My parents aren't known for their unconditional loving or emotional support and I want to be able to feel strong enough that I'm doing the best solution that I can.


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VegasIsBest · 27/06/2015 05:58

Suggest you talk to your doctor. I take diazepam when I fly and it's a little miracle. Makes me feel so much calmer and back in control. Good luck with this.


JoandMax · 27/06/2015 06:17

Thanks Vegas - unfortunately we live in a country which doesn't allow much in the way of diazepam type drugs. I have also tried them in the past to no avail....

It is definitely decided I'm not going for this trip, just DH and DC that were still considering

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NRomanoff · 27/06/2015 06:26

Have you always been afraid of flying? Or is this recent? Or got worse recently?

I was very much like you, had to be sedated to fly. I flew with dad in 2004 and was plush, when I flew again with him in 2011 he couldn't believe how bad I had got. It may not help you, but I got better by refusing not to fly. The 2011 flight was the first not to be sedated since 2005 and it's got better since then. I actually enjoyed the flight when we flew home last October.


JoandMax · 27/06/2015 06:31

I would say it started in teenage years NRomanoff, just as sweaty palms etc and has got worse since (I'm not 34) and exponentially worse since having kids.

Its the buildup which is worse almost than the flight - full on panic attacks and nightmares and an utter feeling of terror and dread and its exhausting. Every instinct in me is at full pelt to say no. I don't want my DC to see me in that state and much as I will myself not too I can't do it anymore

DH flies most weeks, my parents come to us twice a year minimum and I never worry about them at all.

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NRomanoff · 27/06/2015 06:47

You sound just like me. Any holiday was ruined for me by the build up before we went and then the last few days before we came home were awful. It's difficult to advise as I say, I got a better by facing it.

I remember on my first flight without medication, it took all my strength not to start shouting 'stop the fucking plane' as we went down the runway.

I also found that flyin with the kids made me control it more. So they didn't get scared. Dh sits with the kids and I do my best to appear calm while screaming on the inside.

Long term, though, do you really think you can avoid flying forever? Do you have a long term plan?


shattered77 · 27/06/2015 07:58

It's ashame, because the drugs really do work. I'm the same as you, but in my head my twisted logic tells me that if something were to happen on the plane, I'd rather we all be there as a family. If you get what I mean?? I also agree that being with the kids means that you automatically act more confident for their benefit. Can you just get quite drunk? I've done this before, out of necessity...


Silvercatowner · 27/06/2015 08:09

Until 3 years ago I hadn't flown for 30 years. Then my son moved abroad (long haul flight away) and it became obvious that my phobia was going to mean I would miss out on opportunities to visit him. I started off with short flights and it was AWFUL. The first time I nearly didn't get on the plane, but I did - with the support of my husband. I managed the long haul (13 hours) flight last year. It was fine. Take off is grim but once you are up there it is honestly fine. I make sure seats are booked so I know where I am sitting, then I make myself a nest and try to pretend I am not on a plane. Drugs didn't help me.

Had my son not been abroad I'm not sure I would have done this but I'm so glad and proud I did.


JoandMax · 27/06/2015 08:18

I need to address the underlying anxiety, I hadn't realized how much it had crept up on me in other areas of my life.....

Previous I've always been able to hide it from the kids but this is the first time I haven't been able to and I don't want them seeing me get progressively worse and affect them

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potoftea · 27/06/2015 08:27

It sounds like the flying anxiety is just a symptom of deeper stuff which you need to deal with.
I would agree that mentally you aren't up to this trip right now, and just like with a physical illness, you can say so and expect that people who love you will accept your judgement. However the way you mention your parents suggests that they won't.
But that's OK, you are a grown woman who decides what challenges she can face, don't let them make you feel worse.
But promise yourself that this is a one off and a wake up call that you need to deal with the underlying issues.


buildmeabuttercup · 27/06/2015 08:34

There's absolutely no way I'd ever step foot on a plane. I would agree for my DP and my DD to go though because I dont want their life to be ruled by my fears.


JoandMax · 27/06/2015 09:13

Shattered - those were my previous thoughts and getting drunk has normally helped! If it was just look this for a day or 2 before but it's been going on for 2 weeks already.... I'm waking up crying, being sick, I've lost 9lbs in weight, it's pretty extreme.

Potoftea - thank you so much, that was a lovely post and you're completely right in everything you say.

DH is telling me to look at the week with them all away to really think about myself and what I need. He's being so wonderfully supportive.

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shattered77 · 27/06/2015 09:32

You poor thing. Yes, it's too much of a "thing" in your mind now and you can't get past it cos you've whipped yourself up too much. I am getting palpitations even writing on your thread and taking big breaths. I know that fear. I haven't flown for a few years now so the fear is coming back, especially with the high profile craziness going on with planes.

I've been round the world twice, and it was the drugs that enabled me to do it, also the flights were so frequent that it became normal, and even pleasurable to some degree. I even jumped out of a plane! I think I'm back to square one now though. Take the pressure off yourself this time, but start preparing for next time.


WingsofNylon · 27/06/2015 10:08

I'd let them go for the full planned time. Your dh and dcs will cope just fine and have a lovely time.


UniS · 27/06/2015 10:13

Are there any over land and ferry transport options that you could use for yourself , miss out each end of the family trip but still see your UK family for a while.


JoandMax · 27/06/2015 10:23

No land or ferry options unfortunately, I looked into it!

DH was due to be working while we were there so if it's just them he can only do the week. He's also worried about leaving me too long having seen how fragile I am at the moment.

Flights have been changed and also my parents booked to come in August for a week, I really need my mum

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JoandMax · 27/06/2015 10:24

With regard to my parents DH has rung and told them and explained in no uncertain terms are they to be angry

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RoboticSealpup · 27/06/2015 10:26

What about beta blockers? They are not tranquilizers (I'm guessing that's what you mean by "diazepam type drugs"?) but block the effects of adrenalin, making it physically impossible to have a panic attack. I have a horrendous public speaking phobia and these work miracles for me. I start taking them the day before the event and taper them off slowly (otherwise you can get really cold hands, and headaches).


FadedRed · 27/06/2015 10:31

Compromise of DH and Dc's going for planned trip is good and gives you time to decide for the future.
If you don't want to share real reason for you not going with them, and your DH is prepared to tell a little white lie, then tell people you have ear infection/perforated ear drum and not allowed to fly. Oh dear, what a shame etc..... Nobody can argue with that and nobody can think any less of you iyswim, pressure off.....
For the future: have you considered fear of flying course? These can be very successful. Also explore other ways of getting to UK as previous poster says, cruise liners as part of the holiday?


FadedRed · 27/06/2015 10:34

Crossed post.


TTWK · 27/06/2015 10:50

It's not really a fair compromise because you are getting what you want, to not fly, and he isn't getting what he would like, a family trip with all of you going.

I'm not sure there is a compromise to be had here.


manicinsomniac · 27/06/2015 12:29

I totally sympathise, I'm terrified of flying and don't do it without valium. I do go though because a) my desire to travel is (just about) greater than my fear and b) I know that, logically, my feelings are irrelevant to the fate of the plane.

I suppose it depends what you are afraid of.

If it's claustrophobia, loss of control, unexplained panic attacks or something like that then YANBU

But if it's fear of crashing then I think, probably, YABU as you are letting your husband and kids go. I imagine you'd rather die with them than lose all of them!

For me the fear is crashing. In te build up to a flight I get an absolute conviction that the plane can't make it. I'm dreading the time when one of my children flies without me. I'm just as scared of people I care about flying as I am of doing it myself. Every time my sister flies I'm obsessively tracking her flight and can't concentrate on my day (I haven't told her that, obviously!)


Dowser · 27/06/2015 12:40

Have a look at EF

I was fine with flying till we got a house in America . Hypnotherapy helped me and EFT

I know a very good EFT practioner who works over Skype . If you want to know how to contact her pm me.

In the meanwhile you can start with doing the taps yourself.

Planes are landing as we write. Thousands of them.

We stayed less than 500 feet from the airport at Edinburgh just two weeks ago and watched planes landing every 30 secs. Please don't give up on your trip.

In a strange way 911 helped as we were due to fly to America just 10 days after. I just thought , right, nothing's stopping me and it was fine. Americans were coming up to us and asking our hands and saying thank you for coming.


JoandMax · 27/06/2015 13:25

I would say the fear is loss of control and claustrophobia and a generalised 'bad feeling' rather than fear of crashing. I do feel like a plane would go wrong if I'm on it but not if I'm not so although I am sad and will miss my DCs massively I have no fear for their safety if that makes sense?? To be honest even with the hypno I still can't really identify what exactly it is...... I never ever worry when other people fly, its quite frustrating to try and work out!!

My parents have called and been lovely and reassuring and supportive, which I wasn't expecting at all.

DC are currently very excited about their big boy adventure with Daddy, they didn't really know any details of what we had previously planned so no disappointment thankfully

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JoandMax · 27/06/2015 13:26

Thanks Dowser, will pm you

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Ragwort · 27/06/2015 13:29

I don't see what there is to even compromise over - your DH gets a lovely holiday with the DC and you get a peaceful time at home and avoid flying. We often have separate holidays as a family, for different reasons, we don't all have to be joined at the hip all the time and so many families are totally focused on the mother being the 'prime carer' that it is good to see a different arrangement.

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