Turbulence in epistolary relationships. Sorry, I meant 'and'…

by Suw on October 26, 2003

Maciej is still having problems with turbulence, it seems. I have to admit, I'm not in a position to take the piss really – Maciej's fear of flying (and particularly turbulence) is no less irrational than my fear of driving and I actually can sympathise with that white-knuckle feeling you get when suddenly your brain tells you that you are, contrary to all available evidence, about to die. I can trust physics to keep me up in the air without any real problem, but I can't trust myself to control a motorised vehical moving at anything over, oh, about 4 mph.

I'm sure there's a cure somewhere for such fears, and a parallel universe in which Maciej happily jets about the world sitting at the first class bar annoyed only that a slightly bumpy ride spilt a little of his champagne, and I'm a champion rally driver known for her astounding control of her car and her amazing skill in putting it round corners at speeds that defy thinking.

In the meantime, I think I'll just walk, thank you kindly.

On a different note entirely, Ken talks about epistolary relationships, a subject I've touched on here in the past.

I never have understood why people get so freaked out about the concept of building friendships via email and the internet. Epistolary relationships, whether professional, platonic or romantic, have existed for probably as long as the written word, yet with the advent of the internet people are suddenly of the opinion that long distance friendships are new, strange, and not to be trusted.

I suspect that it's not actually the relationship that's strange and new, but the medium within which that relationship has been formed that is strange and new. Email-based friendships seem untrustworthy because people have a level of distrust for emails that is disproportionate to the number of untrustworthy people online. Just because 50% of email is spam doesn't mean that 50% of people online are spammers – it just means a very small minority are making life shitty for the rest of us. And there's nothing new in that.

People have often asked me how I could trust the people I meet online, to which I always answer, how can I trust the people I meet face to face? I start from a position of trust and work from there, just like many other people do – I can't help it, it's hard wired in to my brain (sub required).

Online life is real life – there is no distinction. Whatever happens to you offline can happen to you online, crap fuckwittery and moments of true joy alike.

A visitor October 27, 2003 at 4:08 am


Read your comment re fear of driving.

You might check out an inexpensive, fast-acting treatment used by legitimate psychotherapists and counselors.

it's called 'EMDR' – Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming. I know several folks that use this in their practices.. not exclusively, but when a client has a clearly defined issue.. such as a phobia.

I never knew I was claustrophobic.. I had a business trip to New Orleans scheduled, and walked out to the airplane.. a small cigar shaped item about a mile long.. I embarked, and walked down an aisle about three inches shorter than I was, crouched like Quasimodo.. of course I was seated in the rear.. I sat, with the luggage compartment inches over my head, and felt a wave of panic.. that if I didn't get off RIGHT NOW I was going to be STUCK in this sardine can and I envisioned simply losing it to fear, howling and barking like a dog. Needless to say I was off that plane and took another plane, a REAL, LARGE plane, the next day.

I sought some help, because I had another flight on another one of these regional flights in three weeks. I saw a counselor who specialized in EMDR. I had one session. And I TOOK that other flight, with no more than normal flying qualms.

So. Here's something quick and inexpensive to consider. Assuming not being able to drive impacts your life at all.. and I assume it does.


Karl Moeller [mkarl2@qwest.net]

Suw October 27, 2003 at 7:50 pm

Thanks for the tip, Karl. I'll bear it in mind.

I know one day I will have to deal with the whole driving thing. To be honest, my life right now would be a lot easier if I had a car and could just go wherever I needed to go as and when, rather than relying on my parents.

But currently I've no money with which to buy a car or take refresher lessons, so it'll have to sit on the back burner for a while longer.

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