‘Chump Son’ Passes Away

againdaveI’m sorry to be the messenger of sad tidings, but one of our kindest, wisest, best people here — “Chump Son,” David Clark Brooks, passed away this afternoon at 4:11 p.m. today.

If you’re new to this blog and didn’t know Dave, he was a wonderful commentator. His father had been a narcissist and his former best friend a cheater, and he shared his wisdom and compassion on nearly every post he could. He was especially adept at explaining narcissistic dynamics from a kid’s point of view, giving comfort to parent chumps here.

On a personal note, Dave was also one of my earlier boosters. Emailing to tell me by God, this anti-narcissist thing was part of a larger movement! And keep up the good work! And this reminded him of a historical footnote, and if I was in the DC area to look him up. I regret I never got that chance.

Hug the people close to you, folks. We just lost one of our best people. Such a sad day.


ETA — Here’s one of Dave’s best posts below. He was writing to Hannah, whose father was an abusive cheater.


David January 27, 2014 at 8:59 pm


Chump Son here.

This is what you wrote:

“As an update, he recently assaulted my mum and stole her phone. So there is now an ongoing court case. Despite this, he still felt it appropriate to twist the knife in my heart further with a “heart-felt” email this weekend. One which left me weak, confused and like I’d taken 10 steps back.”

Let me tell you something, Hannah. This guy is clever. Very clever.

He’s got the two-step down like a Ninja Master. Advance, then retreat. Abuse, then soothe. I don’t know if you remember a movie called “Marathon Man” from way back in the 70s. Good film. Good book, too. In that story, an escaped Nazi doctor tortures an adversary (played by Dustin Hoffman) by drilling into his toothe and then suddenly applying anesthetic.

And you know what’s worse? Poor parents often leave their kids with a real hunger for…guess what?…REAL PARENTS. But those same parents get very jealous of the coach, the teacher, the Uncle who might usurp their screwed up authority.

So, you have grown up with a serious Dad deficit, a Dad deprivation, created by…a bad dad. And, roller coaster fashion, he can feed that. Look, no one, absolutely NO ONE, is “all bad.” There are pictures of Nazis who were loving fathers. But disordered people go back and forth. That’s what makes manipulation work! If your father were consistently bad, you’d see him for what we was and be gone years ago. But he can gear shift on you. Character is consistent! Do NOT marry the boyfriend who blows up at the picnic, broods and ruins everyone’s time. You can really tell if these characters are real or not. Just listen to your gut.

You gotta get therapy and keep a grip on this thing.

You also have to do something else.


You have to bury your father.

You have to mourn his loss.

You did not have a real father. You had a very limited, problematic, character-disordered guy for a parent. Despite that, you turned out well. (Just be careful what kind of relationships you get into. Fine a nice Chump!) But you have to face facts. He is not good for you. And you have to mourn. It is sad. In other blog posts, I have described a kind of final conversation that I had with my own father. (He wasn’t nearly as bad as yours, but bad enough.) I gave up on something: on Dad the World War II hero, on Dad the guy who took me sledding for the first time (I can still remember riding on his back. He was so BIG….) The Dad who taught me history. Yes, there were some good things, but — Damn It! — a boundary had to be drawn, and the fact that I waited so long to draw it made it more painful, not less. So, I drew my boundary, felt better, felt sad, mourned the fact that — while my father had good qualities, some of which I admired (mentioned above), on balance, he was not the man/nor the father he should have been. This is hard. But once you do it, you are better off.

If you draw boundaries, withdraw and detach from these folks, some relationship may be possible later on. The irony of this is that, when it comes to the disordered, the only possibility for a relationship comes when you give up on them, when you are willing to get up and walk away, when you’ve snapped the chain of need that ties you to the anchor of their chaos and despair.

I know that sounds weird, like some Eastern Philosophy. Well, let’s hear it for Eastern Philosophy. I had a friend, a good friend, a guy who was a kind of father figure to me –(I attract these father figures quite naturally; I must give off some kind of scent-need; this has been a blessing)–and he said to me once, “You know, you only truly keep what you give away.” He was referring to giving gifts, to giving things with real meaning, but giving them in a way that you kept the memory forever.

That’s a positive paradox.

But with the disordered, there’s another paradox. You only have a chance with them (and they may reject you) once you have cut the cord. Once they know that if they get out of line, you are going to get up and walk away.

And you have to accept something. It’s going to hurt.

But you’ll be better off for the boundaries, you’ll be a better role model to any children you have, you will be better to and for yourself, for your friends. I can imagine that you and your sister’s friends fret about what this situation does to you both.

Personally, and I don’t know all the details, it sounds like both your parents are in some kind of toxic lock. I’d get distance from both. I agree with CL when she tells sis’ she has every right to set boundaries. Personally, it sounds to me like this father is a real loser, and I’d stay away from him. He’s like a mad dentist with a drill in one hand and Novocaine in the other.

So, face facts, mourn and move on. There good folks out there who deserve the good feelings that you and your sister are ready to give. You sound like great kids who came out of a tough situation. That equals triumph. Take that, make new friends and take your lives to the next level. Mom can come with you, if she wants to. I have my doubts she’ll join you. And dad…. Sorry. It’s sad, but the dad you deserved, he never was.

Chump Son knows how you feel.

Please let me (more or less) repeat myself:

“You ARE great kids who came out of a tough situation. That equals triumph. Take that, make new friends and take your lives to the next level. ”

Yes, you CAN!



  1. Jasper says

    My sincere condolences to his family and all who loved him. May he rest peacefully in the arms of God.

  2. AC_ says

    I am so sad to hear this.

    He is such an amazing man, he will live through all those he has touched. Even us who did not meet him in person, will remember his advice.

    My thoughts are with all his loved ones.

  3. TimeHeals says

    I’m sorry you’ve lost a friend and supporter, Tracy.

    FWIW, I think he’d want you to carry on with the mission you’ve found.

  4. Nancy says

    He took time out to help others who were struggling. I am so grateful for that and his comments were realistic and encouraging. Godspeed, David!

  5. Julie says

    This is so sad! He was an amazing writer and clearly an amazing person. Rest in peace David. We will miss you.

  6. Michelle says

    This is so sad. When I read his comments his insight always was taken to heart. His point of view being the son of a narcissist helped me with thoughts of my own young son. I’m so sorry to hear this. He sounded like a really kind and thoughtful person. He will be missed.

  7. 4evertrue says

    “Chump Son knows how you feel.” Comforting, caring, David offered wisdom and hope with his perspective. Rest in peace kind sir. You will be missed.

  8. ReDefiningMe says

    Condolences and prayers to David’s family – his wisdom, clarity, and kindness have been so very valuable to me as I try to parent two “chumped” and fatherless children. Float with the angels, kind man.

  9. Violet says

    I am sitting at my desk tearing up for a man I never met, but I liked a whole lot. I am so sorry to hear this.

  10. liningupducks says

    Such sad, sad news. My condolences to his family and friends, those lucky enough to know him in person.

    Even though I never got a chance to meet him, his numerous intelligent and thoughtful posts really touched my heart and taught me many things. David was obviously extremely smart and caring, and I appreciated his insights as well as the importance he put on a thorough response. I am so grateful that David took the time to share his experiences with all of us, we are all better for it. He is missed, and will continue to be missed…I wish he was still with us.

  11. Hoodwinked says

    I’m so sorry to see this today, sad seeing his sweet picture, thinking of the difficulties he went through growing up similar to so many, tearing up also reading all the comments for a man I never met that has imparted such comforting wisdom. He has left a mark on so many of us and we will all be part of the larger movement he wanted to see against damaging behaviors. My sincere condolences to you skatergirl and his family and all those who loved him.

  12. Sick of HER Chump says

    I’m so sorry to hear this awful news. I have been continually checking in and praying for this man…someone I never had the privilege to meet, but who touched my heart regardless. I will continue to pray for his family and friends. What a sad day.

  13. Margo says

    Such sad, sad news. He offered unbelievable insight which I valued, especially since I am raising two sons whose dad has very few good qualities.

    My condolences to his family, skatergirl, his friends. He touched more lives than I think his family and friends will ever understand. May love and memories surround you at this difficult time.

  14. Gio says

    I’m so very sorry to hear this. I know we post here anonymously but I still feel that we are all part of a great kinship. David was so kind and generous to share his wisdom with Chump Nation. My sincerest condolences to Skatergirl and his family.

  15. Casey says

    My sincere condolences to his family. I always enjoyed reading his responses and what a great writer he was. He will be missed and I pray that he and his family are at peace.

  16. Lunachick says

    A huge loss. I always read his posts, he seemed like such a sweet, good man. So sad. My thoughts are with him and his loved ones. :(

  17. Nord says

    Wow. I’ve been so busy I haven’t had time to check in here. I am so sorry to hear about the passing of David. RIP to him and my thoughts are very much with those who loved him. We’ve lost a great member of Chump Nation. Let’s do Chump Son proud by learning from his always very wise words.

  18. Phoenix says

    Very, very sad about this. I too have copied and pasted many of his comments, to read again and again. His note to Hannah is a perfect example — just substitute the word husband for Father, and it was such a great point: I never had a real husband. His words were always so helpful in understanding the narcs, and so often pushed me on my way to “meh.” Thank you, David, for sharing your hard-won wisdom with all of us. May your strength be remembered by those closest to you.

  19. kb says

    I want to convey my heartfelt condolences to David’s family and friends, especially to Skatergirl.

    Please let us know if the family has designated any charity to which we can donate in memory of David.

  20. solange says

    May he rest in peace. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Chump Son was full of insight and kindness. His comments always made me think and helped me so much through my divorce and dealing with my NPD ex. I will miss his presence here.

  21. Rebecca says

    There are no right words when someone who is so kind, giving and loving gets taken by something that started so small.
    He fought for his voice and supported us – people he only knew online.
    I can only imagine what he was like to those who actually were part of his day to day life.
    Like so much else, it just isn’t fair.

  22. SingleAndFree says

    I am so sorry for this loss. May he rest in peace and his friends/family find peace during this time.

  23. Abbyrose says

    OMG…I am so sorry to hear about his passing. :( Dave’s post often provided me a clearer understanding of my own dynamics. May he finally rest in peace. :(

  24. Gio says

    I’m really grieving Chump Son AKA David Clark Brooks. I googled him and I could have been his friend on Facebook if I had known his true name. I just know he would have been someone who I wanted to be real friends with in real life.
    Is there somewhere here where we could connect in real life and know who we really are before we die? Unexpectedly?
    I know we post anonymously here but I feel such a kinship with all of you and I don’t want to miss out on the chance again of really knowing who you are.

    • Lynn says

      Agree! I feel such a kinship with many of you out there.
      I am so sorry and feel a real deep sadness on reading that David has passed away.
      My heartfelt condolences to David’s family.

  25. Thewatcher says

    Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight. R W Raymond
    Godspeed, David

  26. DatingSucks says

    R.I.P., David. His posts were always wise and thoughtful. My condolences to his family and friends.

  27. Another Rebecca says

    What a tragic loss. My heart breaks for his family. May he rest in peace (and he surely will. What purity of character). Again, just a confounding loss.

    • LiningUpDucks says

      Thank you for sharing. I posted to the guestbook there. Let us know if you happen to find out if/where his family has arrangements for memorial comments/contributions. Thank you again.

  28. James says

    My heart goes out to his family. May he rest in peace and he is now a guardian angel to all of us. I never had a chance to read his replies but I know he was caring to other people’s pain. May he rest in peace.

Leave a Reply