What My PTSD and a Soggy Chicken Wrap Have in Common
Have you ever had food poisoning or a bad experience with a certain food? Do you have taste aversions and/or dislike certain foods (mashed potatoes, pickles, cilantro, salmon, etc.)?
My friend Shannon and I used to be obsessed with Chick-fil-a grilled chicken wraps with spicy dressing. We ate them almost every day in college. One time we went to eat together and both of our wraps had soggy tomatoes that had made the lettuce, chicken and wrap soggy. We were never able to eat one again after that experience, and we both in fact want to dry heave even joking about those wraps.
There are many forms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some people love grilled chicken wraps from Chick-fil-a. Some people love mashed potatoes, pickles, cilantro, salmon, etc. But some people can’t enjoy those foods, and that’s OK.
On September 12, 2009 my fiance was killed in car accident on our wedding day; someone ran a red light. I have a pretty severe case of PTSD when it comes to weddings. I get anxiety and have severe flashbacks of turning our wedding flowers into funeral flowers, or seeing ring boxes because my box is crushed from the car crash, or hearing Van Morrison songs because that’s what we were going to dance to at our wedding, and so many other examples that I could spend all day writing about.
I understand and respect my PTSD… but not everyone does. I lost one of my best friends over my PTSD last year. My friend was getting married and wanted me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding; we had been friends for 17 years and she was going to be a bridesmaid in my wedding in 2009. I told her I was not able to fulfill that job and all of the celebrations that would accompany that position (bachelorette party, showers, dress shopping, emails of excitement, etc.) due to flashbacks and anxiety. I told her I would be front row at her wedding and I would be her number one fan in her marriage, but I could not be in the wedding party. Sadly, she just couldn’t understand.
Society is full of people who love weddings and planning them, have a count down for Royal weddings… but they’re just soggy tomato chicken wraps to me (to put it lightly). I would never force you to eat a food you had a bad experience with… so please don’t make me feel obligated to do the same.
Getty image by Olgaorly