In a couple of days my family is going on a vacation without me. I'm stuck here at home going to classes and such.

Lately, I've been having a really bad feeling about their trip. I keep getting this feeling that something bad is going to happen to them while they're away. I don't know why I feel like this, but I do. And it's not going away.

I'm not so much worried with the flight itself, flying is still the safest way to travel, they're flying on the new Airbuses and not the decrepit Boeings that need to scrapped.

On the first leg of their trip, one of the orders of business for them is to settle a severe intrafamily dispute, that already has me worried. One party really is on the brink, totally broke and stealing the inheritance from the others. I'm worried that they'll do something to hurt my family. My mother thinks I'm being paranoid, my father and siblings on the other hand are also worried about a possible confrontation.

I don't think I'm being totally unreasonable, I don't believe my fear is unjustified, but that doesn't help to soothe my mind. Things like this were much easier to deal with when I could just ask god to take care of it, but now I'm at a loss. I can't put it aside, it's at the forefront of my mind almost all the time. I try not to think about it but I won't be able to relax until they're all out of that first stop and away from all the madness.

I hate this feeling and I wish I could make it go away. I just want to stop feeling like this.

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Comment by Chrys Stevenson on August 15, 2009 at 1:59am
I've had those 'gut feelings' of dread, Jack and it seems that yours isn't baseless - you have some reason to be concerned. As your father shares your concern, can you sit down with him, quietly, and ask what his plans are should things turn unpleasant? Can he notify the local police before going to see your relatives and tell them what's going on so that they can be prepared to respond quickly to a call for assistance if it's necessary?

Has he considered at what point it isn't worth continuing an argument and, for safety's sake, should walk away?

Can the discussion be arranged in a public place - say a park or a coffee shop - where voices will have to be kept lower and behaviour a bit more guarded?

Your Dad might be glad to consider how to handle this, and, if you know he has a plan and has considered how to deal with a negative outcome, you're mind might be easier. Perhaps you can also make some arrangement with him to keep you updated throughout the trip so you're not sitting at home thinking the worst.

Rationally, there's not much you can do to stop your parents going and all the worrying in the world is not going to influence the outcome of the confrontation. So, when you feel you have done everything in your power, the only thing I can suggest is that whenever it comes back into your mind try to dismiss it with another thought or just a silly word. I say "chrysanthemums" whenever I start to dwell on my unpleasant relationship with my brother. It's a situation I can do nothing more about, and making myself sick over it only hurts me and achieves nothing. It's amazing how just using that one little word can 'click' my brain off that loop and reset it to something more pleasant.

Let us know how it goes.

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