Monday, September 10, 2012

Fear of Flying and Falling

At the moment I am sitting in Ben-Gurion International Airport waiting for my flight to New Jersey. When I was little, I use to love to fly. Through most of my life, my father would win trips from work and I was lucky enough to get to travel with my parents around the US and a bit internationally as well.

I remember before my fist flight ever when I was about 6 years old or so, I told my grandmother that I was scared to fly. She explained to me that flying is extremely safe, even safer than cars. I was very surprised by this, and even though at six years old I had no understanding of statistics, the information was trustworthy enough to rid me of my fears. During that first flight, I insisted on sitting by the window and looking outside the entire time.

Fast forward a few years. By the time I was a teenager, around 14 years old, I had had the idea of the "fear of god" drilled into me. On top of that, I was racked with guilt over my attraction to men and the fact that I, like every 14 year old masturbated. I was taught that these two "sins" were amongst the worse things that a person could do and that the punishment for them was death. Not only that, I was told that the punishment for "wasting seed" was that you could never get into heaven. At the time, the idea of godly punishment and heaven were extremely real to me and I lived in fear of being smitten by an angry god.
So scared! :-/

My fear reached a point that every time I got on a plane I actually expected it to crash. I would spend a good portion of every flight that I was on, mentally begging "god" to spare me. I would make all kinds of deals with "him". I was actually taught to do this by a rabbi that had taught me. He told me that it was a good idea to try and make deals with god, but that they had to be realistic. So I would say to "god" that " should I survive this flight I would not look at men for 30 days and that with "his" help I could go longer." But I also asked "him" to make it easier for me, because such promises were so difficult to fulfill.

Death Plane

Having realized that religion is  make-believe, and a man made invention, I no longer board a plane expecting the worse. In fact, just like when I was a little kid, I try and think of how statistically safe I am flying in order to fight any fears of flying that remain. I do not know if I ever will be completely without fear when flying, because in the end I do not like heights and really really do not like falling. But it is definitely a lot nicer flying now than it was in the past.


  1. We are crying along with you. So terribly sad for your loss.

  2. I just read about the accident and am in shock. What a horrible tragedy! I can't imagine the physical and emotional pain that you must be feeling. May you have comfort and healing.

  3. I'm visiting after reading the news on Coin Laundry. My heart goes out to you.

  4. Ami,

    I just read the news on Coin Laundry.

    I have no words but to say that I am very very sorry for your loss

  5. deepest condolences on your loss. this is a tragedy. get better. please keep blogging. we need to feel hope.


  6. I am very very sorry for your loss. I offer you my deepest condolences.