Thank you for your post.
No need to send a screen shot. I believe you.
No, this shouldn't occur, and I don't have a definite solution. Does this occur on every layout of that database file or just one layout? If one layout, then I would conclude the layout became corrupt. Create a new blank layout, show the palettes, and recreate the forms and fields.
If this occurs with every layout in the database file, then make sure you don't have a script that turns off the "Allow Toolbars". This will gray out Arrange Palette and Align Palette. You may want to create a script with
Allow Toolbars [On]
Please let me know if this helps (or not).