Recently I have been developing something I call (DIM), Developmental Integration Malfunction.
This occurs when one’s main drives are fueled by fear of rejection and its twin, need for acceptance. When a person experiences powerful rejections such as a job termination, or death of a loved one I have observed that he or she will display a lack of any genuine positive emotion. Of course, if such a person experiences this at an early age, elaborate defense mechanisms become integrated within the developing ego, the survival mechanism.
Often this is noticeable when in spite of the fact that one’s life is in a mess, and the individual is not happy, he or she maintains an iron-clad rational for everything. Fear is highly motivating and almost always will castrate one chances for fulfillment and love. Ultimately, it can cause a person to self-sabotage as fear drives such a person to live by default. What I mean by that is one moves away from feeling experience to looking at the experience cognitively and intellectually. This is not the same as feeling. Many so called “do-gooders” are overly obsessed with how they are perceived and the need to feel accepted. They have dodged their paths or purpose in favor of external distractions. Even when one’s personal and professional life comes crashing down, he or she persists in sidestepping with worn-out behaviors. This is my definition for “Developmental Integration Malfunction.”
When one is hurt and or traumatized emotionally, the common reaction is to protect oneself from future attacks. Deep trauma causes dysfunction of awareness. If left unchecked, much of one’s subsequent developmental behavior is designed to avoid personal feelings. It is ironic to me that this defense mechanism will rob a person’s quality of life thus creating meaninglessness and no fulfillment. Additionally, it is highly insidious. However, and like addiction, it is very effective at creating a sense of safety… for a while. As emotions attempt to move towards awareness, which is what they are designed to do, the individual with DIM, Developmental Integration Malfunction, requires progressive and more effective external distractions. Ultimately, the inner self is unknowable. The fortress is defended by a host of behaviors such as aggression, anger, obsessive behavior, co-dependency, depression, manipulating behaviors and lying, thus pulling the body away from self-awareness.
The cost of this to the individual is huge. The need for acceptance is born out of a fear of rejection. Without the cultivation of awareness, this individual cannot see or change the pattern. This leads to years of living an inauthentic life which is the foundation for failure. As he or she is sinking and recoiling to the bottom of the little pond he or she once felt was theirs to control, he or she commonly thinks that it is temporary.
There is nothing sudden or temporary about it. It is the natural result of years of self deceit and pushing away behaviors. The flow of emotions is the mechanism by which we connect the physical body with the sense of self. Without this function, the individual sets up a vicious cycle resulting ultimately in failure.
The cause of fear of rejection can stem from a range of experiences such as being teased as a child to the death of a loved one. It wreaks havoc in a person’s life at some point. Unfortunately, it is often not until everything falls apart, combined with his or her ability to accept that this has happened, that answers are sought.
The more one understands their fears the better he or she can learn to unravel their tiers of defensive behaviors and live a healthy life. Recovery and a joyful life are possible. I am living proof that all the abundance of life is yours for the asking.