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.
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.