Fear of flying

It matters not that
I fly a lot
that before I had
babies, children
I had no fears

None whatsoever
but now, and even
after deprogramming
one lunch hour with
a GP who promised
it was just a phobia

he had me sitting
in a make believe
cinema watching
myself flying and
pretending I was
also the projectionist

it worked for thirteen
flights, the trick
being to envisage
arriving and I did
into a snowstorm
at Washington DC

roll forward and I
have family in Seoul
and we visit as often
as we can to catch
those precious moments
you never get back

but I hate flying
so I make peace with God
(the one I don’t believe in)
on take offs and landings
I tell all the people who
should know I love them

And then I tell myself
I’ve had a good life,
It’s okay, if I die, although
I worry a little about the
other passengers (as
you do, babies and all)

As the plane veers, and
the wheels descend 
there are noises that I can’t 
account for, I forgive myself
and everyone as death
is surely imminent

but then of course, there’s
always the brace position
and I know where the exits
are and of course, I’d let
the woman with her baby
go first and perhaps 

I’ll make the papers as
the heroic elderly woman
who sacrificed her spot
on the escape chute for
others, smiling, unafraid
calming everyone

bang, bump, and even as
we hit the tarmac I still
worry in case the engines
which need to power down,
don’t work and we roll
forward into Shelley Bay

I’m that passenger disembarking
whose eyes are so wide open
because they never shut for
a single minute in case they
missed the oxygen mask falling
or a seat belt announcement

turbulence is greeted with
varying degrees of terror and
feigned nonchalance… I have
been known to grab another
passenger to reassure them
and they don’t seem to mind

some people take drugs
they drink and they drink
some more, but me I prefer
to do this cold turkey
upright, terrified, visualising

Fear of flying… what me…
nothing would keep me
from my family

11 thoughts on “Fear of flying

  1. christinenz90

    Oh that’s tough being imbued with that fear. I can only wish for it to dissipate. This is not how you are departing this life. Sending calmness


    • That’s an interesting idea about thinking of two things at once. It hadn’t occurred to me this was how the visualising worked, but of course! And it does work. I think some of it is a kind of claustrophobia, knowing I can’t just stop the plane and get off, as you can in a car.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason for our fears. Being kind to ourselves helps when all else fails. Claustrophobia seems to get many. My dislike of heights came on out of nowhere. I went absolutely pale when we ventured up on sky tower. The day before I didn’t realise I had a fear of heights. Rats are another thing 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I conquered my fear of weta when we moved here to the bush thirty years ago. My flying phobia developed when I was pregnant with my first child and had a long flight to London… I just wanted my baby to be okay and then we were on a small plane that lost an engine (our kids were at home with friends) and that was terrifying and all I could think of was my babies), and then a flight where an intoxicated traveller tried to bash open a window and it took a lot of British Airways staff to restrain him… so I think the phobia is an accumulative thing… but too, I’m a natural worrier and so my brain goes into overload.


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