Butterflies petrify me. Such beautiful creatures, so harmless, so delicate, so gentle – their unobtrusive presences anywhere within a radius of 1 meter is sufficient to make me freeze on the spot. When on my own, I would squeal. When others are around, I try to suppress the scream, and walk away calmly. I am in such fear of them that my psychologist decided I needed to undergo desensitization treatment for phobias.
I have recurring dreams and nightmares of butterflies. I run down a long hallway, dimly lit by yellow light bulbs. There are wooden doors on both sides, but all closed. I am fleeing, heart pounding as I sprint down the corridor from the grasp of a gigantic butterfly. He is black in colour, with faint white and yellow dots and lines on its lower wing.
Although I do not see it, I can feel the weight of its wings on the back of my neck. The faster I run, the heavier the wings’ clutch on me. But I continue to run, struggling to fling the butterfly off from my body.
There is a pair of scissors, which cuts off the butterfly’s wings. Yet, when the wings are broken, the taut cling of the butterfly closes in around my neck.
I feel the pressure, half conscious, half asleep. I will myself to wake up. With a shriek, I sit up, gasping for breath, frantically brushing the back of my neck, terrified of the dream’s reminiscence.
Each time the same cycle.
I cannot stand the sight of butterflies. I do not mind their existence, as long as they stay their distance. Same goes for bees, dragonflies, geckos, flying cockroaches, and any other small beings that can zoom past in the air. I could vomit at the photo of a frog or a snake. My psychologist wondered if this might all be associated with a new phenomenon of trypophobia, a phobia of holes, though not yet defined as a phobia with the APA or WHO. (Be warned, do not Google for images if you have a faint heart – I threw up and was dizzy for the whole day).
I do not like butterflies. I do not understand the dream in my context. I could guess the meaning via the myriad of dream interpretation websites. Yet, what is my unconsciousness telling me?
Do I want to know?