07-18-17 Triggers

We stopped by the house this evening on the way to the beach so I could change and grab our beach pass. As I opened the door I was hit with a stench that is unbearably disgusting and yet unsettlingly familiar. I stood in the entryway as my mind raced to place the smell, and as my thoughts coalesced, I held back the urge to gag…

Rotten raw chicken.

I had made chicken noodle soup last night, and I had put all of the chicken packaging from the raw chicken in to the kitchen trash, and having forgotten about it, rushed out the door this morning without emptying the can. The smell permeated everything. I held my breath as I quickly emptied the trash, and set up a diffuser with some oils to fight the odor. I was happy I had agreed to take the kids to the beach, because there was no way I could make it very long in the house.

Rotten raw chicken is one of my triggers. When I smell it, little alarms go off in my mind and my body tenses up. Two weeks after 9/11, when we were finally allowed back in our apartment, we opened the door and were greeted with that exact same smell. There had been raw chicken in our fridge, and two weeks without power in the September heat did quite a number on it.

In the years that I have been married, there are two jobs in our house that are distinctly Tim’s- emptying the trash, and removing any expired chicken from the fridge.

It’s funny how a smell can bring us back to an exact moment in time. Thankfully, tonight the flashback was brief and we were able to resume our evening. When we returned home, the oils had mostly done their job, and there was only a slight hint of the smell by the time I put the kids down.


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