Sunday, August 14, 2011

Fear of Flying

I have it.

I flew many, many times as a kid (I was on my 3rd passport at age 11!)  Age 11 is when I developed the fear and I flew alone many times between the ages of 11 and 16 including back and forth to England alone at the ages of 11 and 14!

But I stopped in 1978.  Yes,  33 years ago was the last time I flew on an airplane.  I have taken many Amtrak trains all over the country (love the sleeper cars) and I regularly drive thousands of miles in a couple of weeks' time.  But I have managed to avoid flying.  My 16 year old brother came to visit me when I was 27 and my grandmother died in Texas.  We took a bus from DC to San Antonio and arrived in time for the funeral.  THAT'S a devoted non-flyer!

My fear is partly an extreme fear of heights, partly my need to always be in control, and generally part of my OCD/anxiety pattern of thinking.  I do understand that it is the safest mode of travel.  I do understanding how extremely more dangerous driving is.  How SAFE an activity is does not always correlate with how SCARY it is.  For me flying is scary.  Yet, I am also fascinated by it (aren't we often morbidly interested in stuff that scares us?)

So, what is the point of this post?  I am flying with my boys to Texas on Tuesday morning.  I haven't had time to wrap my mind around the fear which is good I guess.  But it is also a sign that I have so much to worry about that I can't even focus on my phobia.  I am afraid that this will catch up with me at the airport.  I am worried about all the arrangements I have to make for my daughters and everything else.  Plus, just the day to day life we live.

This trip occurred because my stepmother was about to trade in her car when she decided to give it to me.  I am about to have another driver, so it's a godsend.  It's a 2008 Ford Escape.  The only problem was how to get it from Texas.  So, we're flying down and driving back.

So, hopefully, I can survive the worry about being away from my girls for five days and the three day drive with two little boys...and the airplane flight!

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