The Narcissist's Husband



El Paso County Texas Obituaries from the El Paso Times  January 29 2002

A****, ROBERT E. was born July 1, 1943, in Columbia, South Carolina, and went to be with the Lord January 27, 2002 in San Antonio, TX, at the age of 58 years. Robert was a member of Sun Valley Baptist Church in El Paso, TX, and of Leon Valley Baptist Church in San Antonio. He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Jody; daughter, Vicki J****** and husband, Mike; son, Joseph A**** and wife, Elizabeth; grandchildren, Isabelle and Joey A****; Devlin, Mikey, Stephanie and Travis J******; mother, Eva A****; father, Julian A****; and sisters, Bev A***** and husband, Butch, and Pat T****** and husband, Garland. Visitation will   begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by a funeral service at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, January 31, 2002, at Leon Valley Baptist Church in San Antonio. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Cancer Therapy and Research Center, 8122 Datapoint Drive, Suite 600, San Antonio, TX 78229. Sunset Northwest Funeral Home, 6321 Bandera Road, San Antonio, TX 78238


I received the above obituary notice in the mail around the middle of February of that same year; it was cut from a newspaper page, stuffed inside a birthday card -- courtesy of my Narcissist mother.  When I opened the card, the newspaper clipping had fallen out and landed face-down on the floor, depicting an advert for used cars or something on its other side. I'd briefly wondered what strange thing my mother had sent me this time (she's fond of sending weird article clips from magazines and newspapers), but it was my thirteen-year-old daughter who picked it up and turned it over.  "It's an obituary," she said.   Not recognizing the name on it, she handed it back to me-- "Grandma's so weird." 

I got no phone call nor any indication whatsoever that my Narcissist mother was the least bit interested or concerned about my feelings regarding this man's death; just "Look who's dead,"  scrawled on the newspaper clipping.

This man, Robert E. A****, was my daddy.  From November 20, 1964 to January 30, 1976.

One month before my fourteenth birthday, I'd like to say that my daddy walked out and vanished from my life because he didn't care about me (my Narcissistic mother's words).. but that wasn't the case at all.  He did come to see me a couple times over that following year (1976-1977) at my Narcissist mother's demands, because I was an 'impossible child' and she wanted him to 'fix it'.  (She was actually too busy seeing other men at the time, and didn't want to be bothered with the 'impossible child'; and also it was HIS fault I turned out to be the worst kid on the face of the earth.. not hers).  I was fifteen the last time my Narcissistic mother forced him to come 'fix the problem kid'. I'd already dropped out of high school by then.  He asked me what my plans were; I told him I was going to join a rock band.  And that was that.


One day, fifteen years later in 1992, I was in a very crowded Walmart store and a middle-aged man breezed past me. He didn't look anything the way I remembered my daddy; he was balding, wearing glasses, and he was very round around his middle. He didn't see me.. but his name flashed through my head instantly and I knew it was him.  Within a few days I took the initiative to hunt down his phone number (back when everyone's phone numbers and addresses were still published in giant phone books and available to the public at large) and I gave him a call.  Because things happen for a reason, and when they do, you should leap on them -- I believed that (and still do).

We had a nice little conversation; I told him I'd seen him in a crowded store the other day.  He invited me and my kids over for dinner. He said his wife and kids would like to meet me and we should get together.

My children (Gabriel, who was 11, Justin, who was 9, and Arianna, who was 3 at the time) and I spent the evening at my daddy's house with his wife and family.  It was a pleasant few hours at the dinner table and afterward as well, when my daddy showed me his house and yard and all his projects he'd been working on.  Of course, he asked me if I'd joined a rock band and how it turned out.  I laughed and told him I kind of grew up.  I asked him where his TV and cigarettes were, then he laughed and said he hadn't had either of those things in several years.  We were both different people than we'd once been.

Later that night, I made the mistake of telling my Narcissist mother I'd been to visit my daddy, and that he seemed so genuinely happy now.  (Narcissists HATE the idea that anyone, especially an ex-spouse, could move on in life and find happiness with someone else!)

My Narcissist mother called my daddy up on the telephone the very next day and cussed him out.  She had not spoken to him in fifteen years, but could not resist the urge to cuss him out that day.  She bragged to me about it, too.  After all, it's all about her! And how dare he have a happy life, and how dare I say nice things about him?


I'm going to pause and backtrack a little bit.  The obituary above is really killing me at the moment; the ten years that I lived with this man can't be contained in a small square of faded, yellow newsprint. 

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up
the o'er-wrought heart and bids it break." William Shakespeare


1964.  I think it might have been in the summer or early autumn.  I have a very vivid memory of walking into an office building, holding my daddy's hand.  (This was months before he and my Narcissist mother were married that same November). I remember him picking me up and setting me on the high counter in the office lobby.  The office was named Household Finance Company, and was where my mother worked as a receptionist before she and my step-father were married.  But while he and I were there that day, waiting for her to finish her work shift, I vividly remember him teaching me how to tie my shoes.  I was very proud of myself that afternoon.  I remember announcing to my Narcissist mother from the counter top: "Look!  I tied my shoes!"  I also vividly remember the smile on my daddy's face.  But strangely.. I don't remember anything of my mother's response or expression.  It is only a blank.  Which, in an almost chilling retrospect, seems a kind of foreshadowing of her inability to relate to the simplest of things that connect all human beings, or those which make all human beings unique.. and separate from the Narcissist.

Shortly after they were married (just a few months before my third birthday), my daddy was drafted and sent to Vietnam.  He was gone for an entire year. Interestingly, I do remember many things, even that far back into my early childhood, like the night my daddy came home from Vietnam; I didn't recognize him, and suddenly seeing a strange man just standing there in the living room one evening, dressed in army fatigues, scared me. The Vietnam veteran was finally home again, but somehow I don't think that serving a tour of duty for a year in a war-ravaged country in the southeast Asian jungles could have ever prepared him for the battlefield that the next ten years of living with the Narcissist was going to be. 

He was never good enough for the Narcissist, who had a mile-long list of grievances against him (and still has, to this day).  The Narcissist's Husband was THE most evil, worthless, selfish, boring, lazy, loveless, ungrateful jerk that ever lived (next to the Narcissist's Daughter, of course).

In retrospect, I will say that he had his faults; my daddy was human and all humans have their faults.  But he deserved a far better life than the ten years of verbal and mental abuse, and all the vile slandering behind his back, courtesy of my Narcissist mother.  I'm glad he got out when he did.  I am glad that he found a new wife who loved him, and built a better life for himself over the remaining twenty-five years of his life.  

Despite that the Narcissist painted him as the Antichrist, my daddy was a good man.  He was a musician (and even played club gigs with a few bands in the early years), though the Narcissist always berated and put down his talent.  He liked riding bicycles, playing tennis, playing his guitar and belting out Jerry Lee Lewis style rock & roll songs on the piano. He was the furniture department manager at the nearby Sears store. I used to walk there every day during summer vacation from elementary school, and when I turned ten, he taught me how to drive the standard-transmission Volkswagen Beetle car we had, letting me practice on Sundays in the empty Sears parking lot (because Texas had 'Blue Laws' that prohibited businesses from operating on Sundays back then).

He liked going for Sunday drives (often letting me drive the car on the highways outside the city limits from age 10 - 14). He liked doing yard work, teaching our dog Bodunk (Bo-Bo) to do tricks, and 'target-practicing' out in the desert with his rifle.  He liked playing card games and visiting with the neighbors. He liked popcorn, even though he complained that the husks got stuck between his teeth. He liked The Jackie Gleason Show and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.  When something was funny, he had a loud and rather amazing laugh. (My Narcissist mother hated his laugh. Although I think it was just more that she genuinely disliked for anyone in the house to be happy when she was always so miserable).  My daddy liked staying up really late with me on weekends once in awhile to watch Wolfman Jack's Midnight Special.  And he even had the ability to look past David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust glam-flamboyance (because I liked Bowie's music very much) and agree that the man was indeed, a very talented singer and musician.

All these good memories I have of my daddy were during the times when my Narcissistic mother wasn't present, for whatever reason.  He and I didn't ever really talk all that much-- there wasn't really a need.  We weren't terribly close, but it was as close as we could ever be.. under the Narcissist's poisonous shadow.  I wish I had never been forced to hear my Narcissist mother's gossip and slander about him while growing up. I wish she had never used me and forced me to take her side in all her fights with my daddy while I was growing up.  I wish I didn't have to hear my Narcissist mother air all her specific gripes about my daddy to all her supposed 'friends', to paint such unflattering and ugly portrayals of him.  I wish she had not warped my mind during those ten years he lived with us.  I wish I had been allowed to make up my own mind about him.  I wish.. I had known my daddy better; known him for who he really was.

It's been ten years since the Narcissist's (ex) Husband passed away.
And after ten years.. I still grieve.

Yet I am so glad I called him when I did.  I am soooo glad I got to see him again.. before he passed away.  


Rest in peace, Daddy.




El Paso County Texas office of vital records/ File Number 2028 
Husband Name A**** ROBERT E 
Age 32 

Wife Name DONNA L 
Age 31 

Marriage Date 20-Nov-1964 
Divorce Date 30-Jan-1976



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1 comments:

Leiya said...

Hi there. I am sorry for your loss, I am sorry for your pain. I too am a daughter of a narcissistic mother. She too slanders my father. They aren't divorced, but sometimes I wish he would stand up for himself and get out and live a better life outside of her controlling and demeaning existence. He has a choice to get out while I can't yet do so. I am 21 this year and I want to heal. I feel too old and worn out already and I haven't even lived half of my life. I can't get out just yet, but I am unsure how much more of this I can take.

Anyway never mind me. I wanted to compliment you on your blog. Writing about my own feelings is cathartic as I too have my own blog. It is really wonderful to get things out.

I am glad you got to see your father before he passed away and you have good memories of him.

I don't know if you believe in heaven, or what your religion is... but if you believe in life after death or reincarnation... you might just see him again someday in another life or in heaven. Your souls can still have a friendship one day.

May we both heal.

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