Why I would HATE to be superman
I have an EPIC fear of flying. I’ve been to a psychologist (she was a hang-glider in her free time). I’ve tried hypnotherapy (apparently, I can’t be hypnotised). I’ve tried over the counter sleeping tablets (no effect). I’ve been prescribed anti-anxiety meds (mixed results).
Let me explain what happens to me when I board a plane. The amount of adrenalin that starts to course through my body makes it feel like my fingernails are lifting up off my fingers and my teeth tingle like I’m being electrocuted. I become capable of only responding to questions or conversations with one word answers or wide-eyed panicked looks. I read the safety instructions twenty times and then count the rows until the exits (in case I have to exit in the dark—probably an underwater crash in my mind).
The amount of hatred I feel for complacent travellers who refuse to switch off their phones is EXTREME. They are directly responsible for my impending death. Who the HELL do they think they are? I ask myself, as I sit and seethe and press the buzzer to report them.
I remember a time when I was NOT afraid of flying. In fact, I thought it was FUN. I was in year eight and it was my first international flight (probably my first flight full stop). I actually have a diary entry that is basically: Dear Diary, I just boarded the plane for New Zealand. I hope we hit turbulence. That would be so exciting! Yours until the ocean waves, Ingrid. WTF?
I can tell you the exact period in my life where I developed a fear of flying. It was while I was visiting my father for the first time. I can actually remember my mum and I laughing at a man on the plane as we left Australia, who was making the sign of the cross and breathing into a sick bag due to his fear of flying. That was me a month later. My mum had encouraged me to meet my dad, but at the last minute had become worried I’d like him more and want to live with him. What if the plane crashed and I died with him instead? She would be devastated.
Add that thought to having to fly out of a hurricane in Florida and an ear infection that had me in agony all the way across the US.
I HATE having a fear of flying, because I actually LOVE to travel. At times I’ve had to travel a lot for work and for flying. I also have more than half of my extended family living abroad (my dad, my sister, my aunt’s, uncles and cousins on my dad’s side). When I board a plane, I try desperately to think of that fourteen year old flying to New Zealand—while shovelling prescription pills into my mouth, of course.
On Sundays, I let myself get all dewy-eyed, particularly about my teen years, which weren’t that long ago, thank you very much! Join me for a wander down memory lane and read all of my sentimental posts here. Just watch out for the puddles caused by my tears of angst.