Raspberry and chips

Please note that this may trigger.

The husband of our cynical friend was buried today.  It was an amazing service which showed how much he was loved by those around him.  The eulogies were funny and heartfelt.  Our friend held up well throughout the funeral, she cried and was supported by her youngest daughter… the love within the family was obvious and honest.  One of the graphic designers at work did a montage of photos of his life, it was amazing to see how much he had changed, but not changed over the years – the laughter in his eyes was there all the way through.

We were close to not going to the funeral, we don’t find funerals easy things to attend.  They tend to overwhelm us with too many messages… but we were fine today.  Our friend also said she was looking for us when we went to give her a hug afterwards, so I’m glad we went.  She deserves all the support she can get.

After the funeral there was a wake held at a working men’s club.  We didn’t particularly want to go to this as we knew there would be lots of people, but everyone from work pressured us into going.  We were fine driving there and parking… it was when we got to the door that the trouble began.  This club is like many throughout New Zealand, they have a similar feel and design – a big open space with table for standing and drinking at while you watch the big screen TV, and another area for dining.  The smell of alcohol greets you at the door.  What also greeted me at the door was the first flashback.

The father managed a working men’s club as we were growing up.  Our lives revolved around that club, sport and alcohol.  We were abused at that club.  We were forced to drink alcohol for the first time in that club.  Some of us still live in that club within our head, they’re stuck there.  Walking into the club today triggered them all…

M took control as best she could, but she has problems with alcohol – she uses it to drown out the noise in the head.  As we walked to the bar all we could hear is the noise of the crowd becoming fainter and the internal screaming getting louder and louder.

“Raspberry and chips… raspberry and chips… raspberry and chips…”

This is all M could hear, so she orders a drink to drown out the sound.  The screaming gets louder as she takes the first sip of beer.  She always drinks beer as it makes us drunk quicker.  The first beer doesn’t deaden the screaming, time for another…

Random flashes, snippets and sounds from the past come through… some good, some not so good, some horrific.  Still the screaming…

“Raspberry and chips… raspberry and chips… raspberry and chips…”

M tries deep breathing, but that doesn’t calm the noise…  Time for another drink.  No one around us is aware of anything going on.  M answers all the questions and shows an interest in everything as she continues to drink. I don’t know how much she drank, it’s always hard to tell as the dissociation seems to mask the effects of the alcohol… or maybe we’re just immune to the effects, I’m not sure.

We all know what “Raspberry and chips” means… it was a reward for being a good girl after the abuse.  We hate raspberry soda and potato chips…

Now playing: Crowded House – Better be home soon
via FoxyTunes


15 thoughts on “Raspberry and chips

  1. People just don’t understand. You had a right to say no and not have to explain and they should have just shut up. I know how hard it is when others pressure you into going into triggering places. Good and healing thoughts to you.


    • Hi Kate,

      It’s our fault for allowing ourselves to be forced into going. We said we wouldn’t, but relented under the pressure to go. In the car our team leader said we didn’t have to if we didn’t want to, but by then we were driving them there. We did it because we wanted to support our friend any way we could. We also didn’t realise how similar the club would be in design and feel.

      So stupid for going…

      Thank you for your support 🙂
      Take care,

  2. Thank you for sharing. I am writing to let you know it was helpful to me and my healing.

    One of the farthest places I get away from me is when there is drinking. My parents never drank at all and the smell of alcohol is a connection to the abuse I was not aware of. Pretty much I just go away if I smell alcohol.

    All the times I have been around alcohol were stored in the same place in my memory. That part of me has been away for about 8 years. He is back now. We need him and what he can do to heal.

    So, I am very sorry about what happened to you and am thankful you shared as it made things easier for me.

  3. CG, I’m so very sorry.

    I don’t think you were stupid for going – you went to support your friend and colleague, and I think that was a very brave thing to do.

    Safe hugs to you.


    • Thanks Kerro 🙂

      I felt more stupid than brave during all the flashbacks. I couldn’t even do anything positive like leave as soon as I realised how bad it was going to be, I just kept on drinking…

      Take care,
      CG xoxox

      • I know you felt stupid, though I don’t think you are. You did the best you could in the circumstances and that turned out to be drinking. On this occasion I say so what.

        I was thinking about you and your raspberry and chips this morning (my father coming over today)… I have the exact same response to those awful snowball things. You know the ones – sticky marshmallow covered in chocolate and coconut? Bleuch.

        • I know what you mean about the snowballs… they’re just gross!! It’s amazing/awful how the seemingly smallest of things can have a dramatic impact on us.

          M will always go to alcohol as a coping mechanism, she/we/I have addiction issues when it comes to alcohol. We don’t use it much now, but we were heading that way in our early 20’s.

          Take care,
          CG 🙂

  4. I also don’t think you were stupid to go — it might have been better not to, but your motives were loving and supportive to your friend; you weren’t trying to conform or pressuring yourself to fit in. However, I am so sorry that it turned out to be so painful. Nobody should have to endure memories like those. Nobody should have to endure the cruelty that causes such memories.

  5. Pingback: Losing the illusion of control | Scattered pieces

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