Amazing Parents

Sometimes it\’s AMAZING. Sometimes it\’s just A MAZE.

Which rabbit am I?

I laugh as I shake my head back and forth and somehow muster an, “I don’t know.”  And I didn’t get any smarter as I slept, because this morning I woke up and I still don’t know.  I don’t know which rabbit you are.  For that matter, I don’t know which I am either.  Ah, the plethora of things I do not quite yet know about myself.  All the answers, the references, the cross references, the things you always need to know.  But when you ring, I still pick it up.  And when you’re silent in my ear, I know you are laughing at something I just said.  And I wait to hear the echo of your happiness.  Which, as you know, is more precious to me than even my own.  Because your happiness is my happiness.   You are my “amygdala buddy” and I like it that way.

I think everybody needs one — an amygdala buddy, not a rabbit (although rabbits are really cool).  What everybody needs is someone who knows that you’re lying when you say that you are fine.  Someone who can enter the room and bring you instant regulation.  And if not instant, than pretty darn fast.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it a “chemistry” thing.  But it might be.  I’m just a pseudo-neuroscientist.  I just know what I know.  And I know that’s what you can do.  You can read right through my lines and you can feel what I feel right when I feel it.   That is connection.  And that is what everybody in the whole wide world spends their whole life yearning for.

I think I will tell you now, that the amygdala is the part of the primitive brain that is responsible for perceiving threat and danger in our environment.  A cave man with a well-working amygdala would have been a more successful hunter, more likely to survive in the woods.  Today, a child with a well-working amygdala will be more likely to survive his infancy when his mother does not feed him or change him or even pick him up at all.  Because he will begin to perceive her as a threat in his environment and he will not need to depend on her anymore.  And that perception will then be transferred to all adults, to all people for that matter.  Instaed of trust, mistrust forms.  That is trauma.  That is Reactive Attachment Disorder.

And no matter who you are, or what your story is, there is a piece of you in this article.  Because every one of our past experiences builds our brain into what it is today.  And when our past experiences are scary or stressful or even unpredictable, our amygdalas can become very, very strong.  And before we know it, we are perceiving even mundane things as threats to our well being, to our survival.  We might have panic attacks or we might get easily frustrated during moments of pressure. We might be more likely to have a one night stand than a long term relationship.  We might keep people close, but only so close.  We might always wonder if everybody feels that way. That is a strong amygdala.  That is being attachment-challenged. And that is just human nature.

So I don’t know what rabbit you are.  But at least I know you’re human.

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September 28, 2008 - Posted by | RAD Education

3 Comments »

  1. Thought-provoking! And good way to tie in RAD! I kept thinking of the word ‘touchstone’ when you were talking about the amygdala buddy. So important! Someone to keep it real with, to let down your guard with. Thanks for educating me about the amygdala! (now how do I pronounce it?)

    Comment by danifesto | September 30, 2008 | Reply

  2. Try this, Danifesto. There is a sound icon that lets you hear the word spoken. I kept saying it out loud, but I guess you couldn’t hear me. 🙂

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/amygdala

    Comment by amazingparents | October 1, 2008 | Reply

  3. Dude, amygdala buddies are the best. Anyone who doesn’t have one needs to go and get one, like now. I have one and she is the best thing that ever happened to me. And befor I ever knew what she was I knew I depended on her in the deepest possible way. Now that I know what it is, she gives me a reason to get out of bed or a reason to answer the phone. Better yet, she gives me a reason to trust someone again.

    Comment by smelly | October 1, 2008 | Reply


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