Hi Everyone,   I'm Stephanie, a 30 year old teacher,  and I have been dealing with a fear of flying for 18 years.  I developed this fear at the age of 12 after having flown over fifty times:  I used …

Hi Everyone,

 

I'm Stephanie, a 30 year old teacher,  and I have been dealing with a fear of flying for 18 years. 

I developed this fear at the age of 12 after having flown over fifty times:  I used to fly from LA to SF to visit my dad twice a month.  After my father moved out of state flying began to terrify me.  Many therapists have told me that this was a displaced fear....The flight from LA to Minnesota represented my father's increased physical distance from my life and manifested itself in a flying phobia.  In any case I began to be terrified by something I used to find enjoyable.  In the years since my fear has waxed and waned.  It was very manageable for most of my twenties but since meeting my husband four years ago I have found the fear has returned with aplomb.  I currently live in Australia and have to return to the US at least once a year to visit family.  I find the long plane ride, over water, at night to be intolerable.  Being suspended in the dark with no control, is super scary to me.  On our last flight over the Pacific I was crying hysterically, shaking, sick to my stomach, certain we would die, even though I have now flown successfully over 200 times.  I actually love air travel and airplanes and am sick over how this irrational fear has destroyed this for me. I am also very fearful about an upcoming trip to the US in September.  I will travel without my husband for the first time and am very worried about controlling my panic on the flight.  This website was referred to me by a therapist and I'm so happy it exists.  It's great to know that I'm not alone in my fear (friends and family make me feel like a loony tunes sometimes), and also it is so comforting to see the stories of others who have successfully faced their fears and even managed to enjoy their flights.  Thank you Captain Keith for your support as well as the other fearful flyers who have shared their stories and support here.

 

 

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Comment by Raymond Hendry on August 9, 2011 at 9:06am
what I find strange and it is happening to myself is that the flying actually gets worse instead of better as tmie goes by.  My biggest and potentially "luckily" as such is trubulence. That no matter what people say I cannot relax and go with the flow.
Comment by samantha spriggs on August 8, 2011 at 8:44pm

Hi, Stephanie,

Thankyou for your kind words on my discussion...I also have flown too many times to count but its got progressively worse. I even had a period of time where I didnt fly for 10 yrs..then last year flew to Sydney (from UK)...talk about straight into deep end! I found breaking flight up by 2 day stopover definitely helped, 3 of the flights were bearable but the last one (7hrs from Dubai to UK) somehow became very stressful, just felt afraid all the way through..tearful etc. On arrival have overwhelming relief! Doctor did prescribe Diazepam but I just kept them in bag...like a safety net! I really feel that I will take a fear of flying course in future..this is not going to just disappear on its own. I actually dont mind the darkness of night flights...probably because I keep my eyes shut as much as possible pretending to be asleep! I know I have flown before and will again....You will do the same...you sound very strong and brave,

 I hope you have a lovely flight in Sept.

Regards

 Sam

 

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