I Just Can’t

Disembarking at Tullamarine Airport, Melbourne, with two hours before a connecting flight to Perth.  I made the flight from Hobart can I get on the plane to Perth?  It will be over three hours.  I will not be able to get out.  I will not be able to get back.  What happens if I lose my mind during the flight?  What will happen if I lose my mind in Perth?  My family will not be there to help.  My doctor will not be there. 

The world does not feel real.  My hands look strange as if not attached to me.  It’s so busy and noisy.  Why is everyone else okay?  Don’t be silly, it’s just a two-week trip.  I just can’t. 

“Mum I can’t get on the flight?”

“Why darling?  Everything will be fine?”

“No, you don’t understand, I can’t, I want to come home.  I can make the flight back to Hobart. I know I can do that.”

“Darling, people are relying on you.  They need you over there.”

“Mum, I just can’t.  I feel strange, my skin feels like it is crawling, I feel like I am going to go mad.”

“You’re not going to go mad you silly thing.   Where are you now?”

“At the gate, they are boarding.”

“Darling just get on the plane, trust me, you will be fine, it’s just panic.  Remember what the doctor said?”

“No Mum, it’s worse, much worse, I want to come home.”

“Get on that plane sweetheart, I promise you that you are not going to go mad!”

“I want to speak to Dad!”

“Okay darling”

“Dad, I can’t do this, I want to come home.”

“I know you’re feeling awful and scared but you can do this.”

“Will you come and get me if I’m not?”

“Yes, I will call Qantas and get them to land the plane and then I will fly to you.  Are you boarding?”

“Yes I am about to get on the plane.”

“Turn your phone off and walk.  Go find your seat.  I’ll come get you at the other end if anything happens.”

“Okay. Can you tell Mum I love her.  I love you.”

It was another 8 years before I could board a plane without feeling like I was going to lose my mind.  It was not just planes….it was queues at the supermarket, road trips, parties, lectures, exams, any situation I couldn’t just leave at any time.   I still get this feeling every now and again but not all the time.