There are now three forks left in the house.
They are becoming a metaphor for my life: forks as allegory for our lives.
She packs one when she takes a salad to school. Then she just throws it in the bin because ‘her bag is heavy’. Then she screams when she needs one, because there are no forks in the house; with utterly no clue about her role in that.
Because her amygdala, her trauma, her attachment, her FASD all think that forks – like everything else (money, socks, coffee sachets, homework, friends, me) – are magic and ‘should just be there’; available, ready and waiting the instant she needs them. Be there seamlessly. Be there unimpeded by thinking, or planning, or asking, or decision making, or responsibility, or action; no obstacle or challenge blocking the way. Sometimes, even the opening of the cutlery drawer is too much an obstacle; too much a challenge. There can be no intermediate steps to the fulfilment of the need, because they too are experienced as threat, and their very existence summons her amygdala into protective action.
The lack of a fork – directly to hand, exactly when it’s needed – is perceived as a clear and extreme danger that will be fought with the same all out ferocity of hand to hand combat with a lunging sabre toothed tiger. Any interruption to her thinking process, any delay in a need being answered, and her amygdala is there to fight her way out of the problem.
It’s not just things either. The train she needs to catch, the movie screening, the skate session timetable, the click of the boiled kettle, the Saturday job shift, the dinner arrival, the lift; all required by her amygdala to be available and ready exactly and only when she announces she is in need of them, the instant she needs them.
And likewise, if she doesn’t like the bread in the crock, her amygdala throws the whole loaf away. If the shampoo smells funny, her amygdala empties the whole pot somewhere in the bathroom. If the season of her favourite programme comes to it’s end, her amygdala smashes the controller. The mince I defrosted yesterday to cook with today has already vanished like magic because … her amygdala must have seen it, decided it doesn’t want it, and thrown it away.
If it’s night when she needs it to be day, if it’s Monday when she needs it to be Thursday, if it’s Winter when she needs it to be Summer; amygdala springs overzealous and armed to the teeth to her aid. This amygdala – her protector – was once her biggest friend. It is now her greatest foe.
Her home, her life, her body, her actions, her thoughts – as well as mine – are ruled and ruined by this tiny almond shape misfiring button in her limbic system.
And it hates forks.