Monday, January 26, 2009

Free Fallin'

When I was a child, my parents took me and my siblings all over the world with them. We went to England, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, all over the US, etc. Flying was a way of life and I don't remember being particularly fearful. Then when I was in 4th grade my father took a sabattical at a University in Germany. During the boarding of one of the flights to get us over there, there was a commotion among the flight attendents because they thought my mom was Sarah Ferguson (we were in England). In the process, one of the doors remained open as we started to taxi. They realized immediately, closed the door and it was no problem. However, it was a problem for me because I was sitting very close to that door. It scared me to death and I look at that as the beginning of my fear of flying.

Then when I was in high school I played on a USA Juniors Basketball Team. During one tournament we flew into Dallas and had to ride in a tiny plane to Lubbock. It seriously sat about 25-30 people and shook horribly the entire way. You couldn't talk to anybody because you couldn't hear. Then everytime we hit an air pocket we'd drop. I really thought I was going to die and to this day don't know how that little plane stayed in the air.

Fast forward a few years later when I was in college and we flew to out of town games on an almost weekly basis. My coach used to dose me heavily with dramamine to make sure I was sleeping before the flight would take off. If not, I would hyperventilate.

Needless to say, flying for me is an issue. This poses a problem considering my husband and I would like to take our children to Ireland in the coming year. This poses a second problem because my parents have just moved to DC and unless I have no plans to see them for the next four years I need to figure out a way to not only get my rear end on a plane and remain calm enough so that US Marshalls don't board to escort me off, but I need to figure out a way to remain so calm that my children don't pick up on the fact that their mother is petrified and convinced we are all going to die. A bit extreme, I know. But, a problem nonetheless.

I know that statistically speaking one is more likely to be in a car crash than a plane crash. However, that still doesn't provide me with much comfort. Especially, when it seems like you can't turn on the news without hearing about another plane crashing somewhere. (With the exception of the heroic landing by "Sully" in the Hudson, most seem to turn out with mass casualties).

I know that much of my fear is irrational, but it is a fear nonetheless. So, tell me. Any suggestions to help me get over this fear? And how about you? Any fears you know are irrational but just can't shake?


Joanne said...

Oh that's a tough one. Maybe it's like they say, when a horse throws you, you have to get right back in the saddle? Maybe a shorter flight to your parents would be a good practice run before the Ireland trip. (And how nice for you, to have seen so much of the world! They sound like great experiences).

Johnson and Johnson said...

I don't think it's irrational at all. I hate flying, it makes me sick just thinking about it! I will fly, but I won't like it or be very helpful with the children! Actually, the kids end up being a good distraction for me when we are flying, but Joel knows I need to hold on and concentrate for take off and landings!

Moxymama said...

Joanne, yeah my husband jokingly suggested I hop quick flights between Tucson to PHoenix for practice.
J and J, you and I seem to have similar feelings about flying. I totally have to hold on and be "in the zone" during take offs and landings.