The Shoe Flower
What is a phobia?
A phobia is a strong, persistent fear of situations, objects, activities, or persons. The main symptom of this disorder is the excessive, unreasonable desire to avoid the feared subject. Phobias are believed to be developed by heredity, genetics and brain-chemistry combine with life-experiences.
This is going to sound really stupid but ever since I could remember, I have been terrified...TERRIFIED of the Hibiscus flower. Don't ask me why, I have no idea. Some people tell me that it was probably because I was traumatized when I was really young by some incident that I cannot remember now. I doubt it though...
My parents told me that it started from wilted flowers when I was about three or so. Wilted flowers disgust me still. It may be difficult for others to grasp but I don't see any difference between a dead flower and a dead body. I even get shivers thinking about it.
I remember when I was about six, I had to go to a house to learn how to recite the Quran. But the problem was, in order to get in the house I had to go through a path with Hibiscus flowers looming at me on both sides. Luckily there was another way to get in through the house through the kitchen. So everyday I would go through the kitchen instead of taking the direct and easy path just to avoid the flowers.
One other incident I remember is when I was about 4, a photographer came by our house and my aunt asked him to take a picture of me in the garden. We had a garden then and yes it had Hibiscus flowers (thanks to my mom hmph...) that I stayed 6 feet away from at all times. Unfortunately it was the only freakin plant in the garden with flowers on it so the photographer told me to stand near the plant. I didn't want him to know I was scared of a measly flower, so slowly I dragged my little self towards the plant and stood about 2 feet away from it and forced a tight hopeful smile.
The goddamn photographer shook his head and told me to get closer to it so that he can get a better shot. I bit my lip and took a step closer to it, while trying to keep a straight face and mentally shooting daggers at him. Finally after what seemed like ages, the flash went off and I took a breath and started to run off when he said, "Hey, this ones no good, lets take one more, and try to smile this time."
Thats when I started crying..
My brothers used to torture me back then by throwing flowers at me, wilted Hibiscus flowers on top of that '-' They'd tell me that they have a present for me and me being the kid I was, would hold out my hand and they'd plop one into my hand. I'd scream like a banshee and then my mom would yell at my brothers to leave me alone.
Even a few years back when I went to Paradise Island Resort, I saw the flowers on both sides of the pathways on my way to our room and I coudnt go near them. I walked exactly on the middle so I didn't get too close to either side of the path.
I even get nightmares of waking up in a bed filled with wilted flowers or a huge Hibiscus flower devouring me with a "chomp". In my mind I realize that it is not a reasonable fear and that it cannot harm me in anyway, but i still can't go near it. I even got goosebumps when I looked up the picture for this post.
People I know come up with theories about the redness of the flower and wilted flowers symbolising this and that. But I think some of these stuff just don't have sensible explanations. You fear what you fear.
Heres what Wikepedia has to say about the fear of flowers:
Anthophobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of flowers (from Greek roots anthos, flower, + phobos, fear).
Though sufferers generally understand that they face no threat from flowers, they invariably experience anxiety at the sight or thought. Any genus or species of flowers can instill fear, as can any flower part, such as a petal or stem.