Fear of Butterflies

by Tsu
(Pittsburgh, PA)

It really is a relief to know that there are more people out there with this fear. I've seen two other entries involving a fear of butterflies and moths. I am so relieved. I've been told that an easier way of referring to the fear of butterflies would be to categorize it as Mottephobia (fear of moths). It started when I was about 2. I had a horrible nightmare about a giant colorful butterfly flying in me and my older sister's bay windows and attacking me for absolutely no reason. Also I have a fear of bees. It doesn't matter what kind it is, regular bee, wasp, hornet, yellow jacket. I run in fear from them all. My sister recently mentioned that my fear of butterflies may have something to do with my fear of bees. Also when I was probably about 5, my grandparents, aunts and uncles were all visiting our house on Sunday so we could all go to church together. I was standing outside on the porch while my family was loading up. My grandmother was still in the house. Out of nowhere this huge yellow jacket or hornet, whichever it was flies by really fast lands on me, stings me, and flies off. That's probably when my fear of bees started. I have mistaken that for a large colorful butterfly that attacked me ever since. They looked similar enough with the strange arrangements of colors on they're bodies and wings. They look like eyes to me. It's the same with moths. I start hyper-ventilating when there is a barrage of butterflies or moths around. I'm deathly afraid that one of them will touch me, or I'll find a dead one in my hair. My aunt is also deathly afraid of bugs. For me, it's only certain types that I have a phobia of. I too also visited a butterfly exhibit when I was in elementary school.

The feeling of not being able to control whether or not you can escape from those merchants of terror is indescribable. While walking back to the house with my mother and close friends on numerous occasions, I have run out into the street, nearly getting hit by cars trying to escape from these creatures. My mother has pulled me back by my collar and arms plenty of times for fear I might get hit by a car one of those times. The large black and orange ones scare me the most. The small white ones seem to freak me out just as easily. Pretty much all butterflies scare me senseless. At times I feel like I am being tortured when I try to walk down the street and see like 50 of them blocking my path and fluttering about. Just on my way to work the other day, I was walking down the street and out of nowhere the small white butterfly starts fluttering near me, and it seems to mimic my attempts to go an alternate path to escape it. I freak out; feeling defeated until the wind finally blows it away from me. Then I ran like a bat outta hell into my workplace. My coworkers and managers think it's funny to tell me that there's a butterfly inside the building, or that they will chase me with one if I don't hurry up with a task. It's not funny to me in the least bit. I understand it's a strange fear, and I know I shouldn't fear some of God's most beautiful creatures, but they scare me to death. Since I've turned 22, I feel like my phobia has taken a turn for the worst. I now cannot even look at a picture of the large colorful ones (specifically orange and black) for fear they might pop out of the picture and try to fly near me. Everyone in my family and my friends initially thought that this was a silly little annoyance I had until they realized it was a phobia instead.

My mom even thought it would be a hilarious joke when I was 18 to buy me two large snap wallets completely covered in butterflies. I still use them; I just tore the covers off. When I'm working, there are so many butterfly-oriented objects that I have to stock the sales floor with, that I feel like all my coworkers are playing some kind of sick prank on me. I really do have serious panic attacks when these things fly near me. It's like my mind alerts me to imminent doom and I just run.

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