Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dream On

In one of my college English classes the teacher loved reading papers about weird stories. He didn't want to hear about you wining or achieving a goal but when you lost and failed. For that class I found myself searching for weird things about myself or things that have happened in my life that other people would think are odd. I have most of the papers I wrote for that class saved on a broken laptop. Someday I like to get them all off just to have.

One of the papers was about an quirk in my personality. Most people who know me know that I have a very odd phobia: Lepidopterophobia or the fear of butterflies. Well, Lepidopterophobia is actually the fear of moths, butterflies, and dragonflies etc.(all three give me the creeps). The weird thing about it is I know that it is completely ridiculous to be scared of something like a butterfly, but I still flinch every time one comes near me. In the English paper I wrote I tried to think of the reason of why I developed this phobia. I think it all started with a dream.

I was born I Utah and lived there until I was six. During the six years I lived there I started to have a reoccurring dream:

I am sitting on a trolley type train- think Mr. Rodgers neighborhood. We are driving through a rain forest or jungle. As we drive along a bunch of monarch butterflies start flying around inside the trolley. I remember thinking that the butterflies were very pretty and most the people in the dream are excited to see them. There is a girl sitting across the aisle from me,I seem to not know her but she starts doing something that is very disturbing. I sit in horror as she reaches up over and over again grabbing butterflies and puts them in her mouth and eats them. I yell at her to stop eating the butterflies, and that's when I would wake up.

After my family moved to Washington I had the dream a few more times. Even though the dream stayed the exact same I now knew who the girl was who ate the butterflies. She was one of my next door neighbors, and later became a very close friend. She looked the same in both dreams I just didn't know who she was yet when I had the dream in Utah. Weird- I know. By the time I was eight I stopped having the dream but I think the damage was already done.

I never really had any butterfly encounters until my family went on a trip to Mexico my sophomore yeah in high school. We went to a butterfly house, and while my family marveled at the beautiful things, I was freaking out. People stood with their arms outstretched hoping a butterfly would land on them, I literally ran through in fear of having one touch me. The rest of the trip my dad and brother would stand outside my hotel room window and flap their arms up and down slowly to mock me.

I'm not scared of cartoons butterflies, or butterfly jewelry. I think they are beautiful from far away but if one comes too close I have the same reaction that most people reserve for spiders and bees. At one family reunion my brother caught a moth in a little box and had a great time giving me a small heart attack pretending to open the box in my direction over and over again.

This lovely fear is one of the things that I do not want to pass onto my kids. For their sake I try to not show my fear, and say how pretty they are. As a family we have gone to another butterfly house but no matter how hard I try I can't go near them and I always have to leave before everyone else.

Let's just say my weird-seeking English teacher loved the paper.

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