Sunday, September 28, 2014

Autism Vs. Narcissism

It's pretty obvious to see, huh? Now who wants a Chicken Sandwich?

Now I don't want the title of this entry to be misleading in any way. Let me describe the main point that I want to drive in this article. With many of the stories that I read and hear about people who have Autism and the struggles they go through, there appear to be many links to autistic people either falling victim to bullying or they end up suffering to actions taken by narcissistic people.

I have always known that narcissism is a very strong poison of sorts, and it's something that hinders true growth in people. Narcissism is unhealthy and unrewarding. It's just unfortunate that many people in this world today don't realize that. There is one misconception floating out there about narcissism though, and that would be this belief that narcissism can initially develop at any point in a person's life.

This misconception is exactly that. People who have severely high levels of narcissism were born and raised in an environment where they would easily develop narcissistic traits. As children these kinds of people were trained by their parents to act just like them, and I believe from our experiences we can see the fruits of this training. The apple doesn't fall far from the narcissistic tree in most cases as people who are part of that tree (family related) will do as much as they can to mirror each other in personality. 

I have an abundance of experience dealing with people who are narcissists, and considering that I have a form of Autism, it has been difficult for me to initially detect just who is a narcissist and who isn't. For the people who are narcissists, they have a way with masking the fact that they are narcissists. Some people aren't really good at masking themselves and others just don't care if others notice that they are narcissists.

A surefire way of knowing or realizing that a person is a narcissist would be if that person comes up to you and offers you gifts, but with a catch. They give you gifts on the condition that you would turn around and do something for them. You see, in the eyes of a narcissist, he or she sees those gifts that he or she gave you as a debt -- your debt to them. The narcissist will use this "debt" against you to make you feel bad for him or her so that you will feel forced to help that narcissist out. We have to consider the context in which a person gives out gifts to others, and that's really what I am talking about here. What is the intent that one has in his or her heart when that person gives out a gift? Is it sincere? Or is it a way to lure in someone to do dirty work?

My experience in dealing with narcissists spans back many years to when I was a kid. I can say that many of the things my father did to affect my family in the past were narcissistic, as in my dad was so stuck on himself that he couldn't see the whole picture of the situation. There were many things my dad did that caused harm to my family and his actions were done only because he wanted to feel better about himself and his own individual situations. I remember a few times when he looked at a mirror he would smile, but it wasn't the normal kind of smile. There was always a bit of arrogance in his smiles that I could clearly see even though I was a naive kid.

I have only seen my dad in-person 3 times since 1999, so this can be used as an example of what the Vitte family thinks of me, not because I did anything to them, but because of the fact that my actions don't mirror what they feel a Vitte is supposed to be about. There are a bunch of narcissists on the Vitte side of the family, and many of which I barely even know well at all. I have an uncle who is also severely stuck on himself much like my dad, but I believe that my uncle has it worse in the narcissistic category. My uncle is completely obsessed with money. My uncle loves to make money up front, on the side, and any other way he can think of. He's a con artist and he has often trapped my dad into doing difficult jobs for him that makes him a ton of money.

My grandfather on the Vitte side of the family isn't a good story neither. He was the one who started implementing these narcissistic traits into my dad and my uncle. My grandfather played favorites when choosing between his sons (He had 3 sons). That is a trait of narcissism and it ties in with kids being raised in an environment where it would be easy for them to become narcissistic. My grandfather would put down 1 son and glorify the other 2, or he would put down 2 sons and glorify just 1. My grandfather was a flip-flopper and he wasn't loyal to the family on many occasions.

The environment that I, Steven Timothy Vitte, was raised in was a bit shaky, but it never was so dire that I couldn't escape the snares my dad created. I was well grounded by positive influences in my life, which would be my mother and my sister. My mom and my sister came from different families and they both genuinely love me and accept me as a family member. My mother comes from the Cordova family, a family built on upholding morals and traditions that come from the heart. Cordovas have been well grounded in general and they are mindful of what others think of them. My mother's side of the family contained plenty of people who were kind, welcoming and helpful, and these were just some of the traits that my mother showed me to remind me of how a person should conduct himself in life. Though my last name is Vitte, I have always felt like I spiritually gravitated more towards the Cordova side of my family.

I have one funny story to tell and this ties back in with my condition of Asperger's Syndrome. The year was 2003 (I think) and I had quickly developed a love for the board game of Chess, a thinking person's game. I was early in my development as a Chess player as I had attended Chess classes in the San Jose, California area, and I eventually got to ask my stepfather, who was in and out of my life faster than the Roadrunner from Looney Tunes, if we could play a few exhibition games of Chess. My stepfather agreed to play me a few games and early on I would lose to him plenty of times.

However, one game was different. One game played out much differently than what my stepfather had expected, and with the methodical moves that I made, I closed in and defeated my stepfather. That was one satisfying win in Chess for me for a variety of reasons. After I beat him once, my stepfather couldn't handle it. He couldn't believe that I had gotten the best of him once in Chess, and he would constantly snicker and complain around my mother about it. "Steven just beat me once in Chess! He thinks he knows everything about the game! Well, I've been playing Chess longer! Nah! Nah! Nah!"

I thought nothing of my victory against my stepfather at this time in 2003 because I was still training to hopefully become a better Chess player. All I wanted was the experience to play against somebody and I got it, but the result stayed with my stepfather and bothered him. Why was this? Well, as my mother and I soon found out quickly enough, my stepfather turned out to be a huge narcissist. He was a man so stuck on himself that he thought himself to be a perfect employee for a technology company in the Bay Area, and that he could do no wrong as long as he bribed people with his money. Needless to say, I haven't seen my stepfather at all in-person since 2004, and I can't say I'm saddened by that.

Here is what I am basically trying to point out for everybody who is either on the Autism Spectrum or those who know of people who are on it. Whenever you get bullied by ego-driven people, arrogant folks who have nothing better to do than to put you down and get a rise out of you by saying the most insane things, just know the warning signs of a narcissist being present. Whoever that person may be who bullies you, always have it in the back of your mind that this bully may be a narcissist because when it comes to people like us Autists, narcissists consider us to be weak and that we won't be able to stand up for ourselves. Narcissists see us Autists as easy prey, sad to say. Because of our disadvantages in our lack of social activity, the super social and overambitious narcissist may come along and try to lure us away from the truth and put us into dangerous situations where we could be at the mercy of these kinds of people.

We have gifted minds as people on the Autism Spectrum, and we should feel free to talk about issues that bother us such as this one I just highlighted.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Understanding Autism

I would like to initially apologize for not updating The Autistic Help for nearly a month. I have a few good reasons as to why I haven't updated though. One reason happens to be that I am trying to officially establish myself as a writer. No matter what the writing form is, whether it be article writing, blog writing, script writing or any other general writing form, I am trying to become officially recognized for my work as a writer, and in this day and age, I have found it very challenging to get writing opportunities.

Anyway, the topic on hand here is something that I have written about in chunks, but I guess now would be a good time for me to go more in depth about this topic. Why is this blog titled The Autistic Help? I have a few reasons for giving my blog that name. One reason would be that aside from all the other outlets on the internet that provide help for those who are on the Autism Spectrum, I am intending to bring awareness to Autism by way of just writing articles and talking about the Autism Spectrum. Autistic people are generally very skilled in some areas and it's just a matter of figuring out how to bring out those skills and showcase them on the appropriate stages.

The Autistic Help is a name that gets its inspiration from one movie called The Help, a movie that described the ongoing struggles of downtrodden house maids who were living in the southern United States. Of course, The Help focused on an issue different than Autism Awareness, as it focused on controversial racial issues, but the core principles of The Help, both the book and the movie, are very much similar to something like The Autistic Help blog. I believe that people who are on the Autism Spectrum do feel downtrodden and are downtrodden in their own struggles. I believe that Autistic people generally feel more pressure because of the conditions they have and they do have a hard time handling that pressure.

The Help - The movie that inspired the naming of this blog.

There is also this feeling I have gotten that I haven't shared with readers on this blog, but I will share it here. I believe that a bias does exist to at least somewhat stifle any creativity that may come from Autistic people. I believe that certain people, high-ranked people who have the power to make changes to certain policies, hold a bias and a grudge against Autistic people for a variety of reasons, and reasons which I personally can't understand. Perhaps it's just the hesitancy of these high-ranked people to give Autistic people a chance to show what they can do, or perhaps it's just a superiority complex where the high-ranked people basically say to themselves "Thank goodness we don't have Autism! We don't need to deal with those kinds of people when we have fully functioning people waiting in line over here!"

Now here's something I have said before. Understanding what Autism is and understanding why people with Autism act the way they act is key. Understanding something before you go out and promote that something certainly helps. It's one thing to start a charity for Autism Awareness and have Autistic people benefit economically, but it's another thing to get a good enough grasp on what the Autism Spectrum is all about and why there are differences within the Autism Spectrum. If you don't really understand what an issue is about, then you have to put aside all the other efforts surrounding that issue.

I know that I am not the only Autistic writer out there. I guarantee you there are many more writers out there who are on the Autism Spectrum. I would definitely love to know who those fellow Autistic writers are so that I can get in contact with them. It would surely help my endeavors and it would help me to better understand what I need to do to get my name out there as a writer. The Autistic Help stays true to its name. This is a blog aimed at helping Autistic people, to get their stories out there and to share experiences that impact Autism.

If you know of any other Autistic writers, please let me know.