Engaging with alumni throughout the day provides insights into the daily challenges they face. Many of these challenges are often overlooked and deemed as common sense by others. It’s important to recognize that without parental guidance or mentorship, these essential life skills may not be known to everyone. For numerous alumni, aspects that are considered normal in adulthood may seem more daunting than they should, leaving them feeling disoriented. I’d like to discuss some of these struggles that I, as an alum, personally encounter or assist other alumni in overcoming.
For me, the primary hurdle as an alumni is the concept of stability. Despite differing definitions of stability, the pursuit of stability is universal and is achievable. When one grows up amidst instability, it poses a profound mental and emotional challenge to embrace and comprehend the feeling of stability when it surfaces in their lives often leading them to continue the trauma cycle.
I, too, have found myself caught in this challenging cycle. Breaking free from ingrained beliefs and concepts acquired during our rough upbringings is not an easy feat. When stability and structure are presented, they can evoke fear despite the inherent desire for them. Unconsciously, many engage in self-sabotage as a response to past trauma, adopting a flight or fight mentality. When alumni finally attain stability, they navigate a spectrum of emotions, more times than not, they have feelings of discomfort due to the unfamiliarity of stability. The subconscious nature of self-sabotage is often rooted in their personal insecurities and anxieties.
Individuals may unknowingly recreate the chaotic environment they experienced in their childhood years. Breaking these cycles and chains demands courage and guidance, as navigating the unfamiliar territory of positive change can be daunting. The craving for instability and chaos becomes a means to find a sense of familiarity.
Conquering the challenges of embracing stability is no small task, requiring self-awareness and courage. The process relies on rewiring our brains and fostering self-love, a formidable but essential step. Breaking the cycle of self-sabotage is achievable independently, yet having a support system can greatly aid in navigating the complexities of emotions and boundaries associated with the journey.
In my personal experience, FAM has been an invaluable support system in overcoming self-sabotage. Initially feeling lost and boxed in, mentorship from FAM allowed me to self reflect and understand the root causes of my counterproductive actions. FAM embraced me with love, compassion, and encouragement, urging me to expand my perceived realm of possibilities. While acquiring open-mindedness and resilience to criticism was a gradual process, these skills remain crucial and ongoing in my journey. Although my trauma persists, I am now better equipped to confront life’s challenges, feeling empowered. FAM provided me with the tools for success, instilling confidence in my ability to find solutions with the assurance of support and guidance during any unforeseen obstacles.
Author: Lexie Butler