The Narcissist Manipulates : Digging Up the Past
It is an essential method of maintaining our control over you by bringing up the past. We are always able to recall some past wrong which you have committed or some particular transgression which we will use to suit our current purposes. Being able to bring up the past allows us to deflect your attacks against us, deny the validity of what you are saying and instead enables us to put you under scrutiny. We have a formidable capability for remembering what has happened before. It is as if each event in our lives together has been recorded in my mind’s eye and in a moment I can locate the exact memory, circumstances and events in order to support my position and demolish yours. The pin point accuracy by which I can dredge something up which happened months or even years ago is quite staggering. It is all the more amazing because we always seem to forget about events which you try and rely on. Mind you, that is because you have such a tendency to make things up haven’t you? It is quite a terrible habit that you have, lying in order to try and make me look bad or feel worse. It is not something you would find me doing. Absolutely not.
You abide by the concept of that once something has been put to bed that is the end of the matter. It is done. It is concluded. It is finished. We do not subscribe to that point of view. In fact, anything that has happened between us, which we need to resurrect in order to advance our case against you, is never concluded. It may be buried, but it is never buried dead. All the discussions, happenings and events, even though they may have been discussed, dissected and mulled over to an extraordinary degree many moons ago, are ready to be brought back to life in the click of a finger and thumb. That argument about the one time in the last six months when you actually went out with your friends (although that of course was not without a monumental battle beforehand) began when you returned five minutes later than when you said you would return. The discussion rumbled on late into the night until finally tired and fed-up you conceded defeat, apologised and sloped off to bed. All delight from your enjoyable evening having evaporated as a consequence of our ranting and raging. You knew it had been done to death. There was not really anything to argue about, not that that stopped us going round and round in circles in order to frustrate you. This argument was complete and there was no need for it to be mentioned again. Except there was. You organised to go and see a show with your friends. It had been in the diary for at least eight weeks and you headed away looking forward to enjoying it. It was one of your favourites, one you had loved since you were a little girl. You knew that we were not pleased, you could see it in the frozen smile you gave when we came out to say hello to your friends. Not of course that we were interested in being polite to your friends as they waited in the car. No, we wanted to see who was going. Checking up to see if your story was true. We kissed you and wished you a delightful evening although you knew underneath we would be raging that we had to make our own meal and we were left alone for the evening.
The show was magnificent and your friends excellent company but the traffic leaving the venue was heavy and you returned home half an hour later than you had estimated. Note it was an estimate, not a guaranteed time by which you would return, not that this fact would make any difference to us. You sent us a text message (you did not want the embarrassment of a horrible telephone call as you sat in your friend’s car) advising of the delay and why it was. You received no response. That told you everything you needed to know. You entered the house and found us waiting, arms crossed and eyebrows raised.
“What time do you call this?” The accusation is launched. There is no hello, no asking how the show went or whether you enjoyed the evening.
“Sorry. The traffic was bad. Did you get my text?”
“Yes but that is not the point. You are late again. You do this on purpose don’t you?”
“What do you mean again?” you respond, a knee-jerk reaction to the unfair accusation but as soon as the last word has left your mouth you know what is coming. You can almost hear the vault door being opened and the relevant deposit box being selected, the tiny key being inserted and turned.
“You were late the last time you went out.”
“That was six months ago.”
“It was five actually. It was March. It doesn’t matter if it was yesterday or yesteryear, you are late and you said you would not be. You lied.”
“I lied. Oh come on, you come in late every week. Either from the bar or some work meeting and I never complain.”
“Yes you do. You complained last Friday and I told you that I had to meet those clients in the bar.It was a business meeting.”
“You didn’t tell me anything of the sort. I rang you six times to find out where you were.”
“It was eight times actually and I did not answer because I was busy with the clients. As I told you. I remember distinctly explaining that to you.”
“You didn’t. You really didn’t. Look, this is the first time I have been out in an age, I am home now, let me tell you about the show.”
“No. You are not distracting me with tales about songs and dance routines. I am sick of your disrespecting me in this fashion. You always come back late when you are with those harpies.”
“Why say that?” you ask hurt by the remark about your friends.
“Because they are a bad influence on you. They got you drunk that time. Do you remember? You threw up in the sink when you got in and then on the floor.”
“No I didn’t, that was you!”
“Don’t try and twist things around. I remember distinctly seeing you stagger through the door because I was sat in that chair watching the news.”
“You were asleep upstairs and I was not drunk. I don’t get drunk.”
“Oh really, I can remember at least five occasions when you have come home rat-arsed, banging into the walls and crawling up the stairs. There was that time you went with Sandra to that new bar, Apartment it was called.”
“What are you going on about. No I didn’t.”
“Yes you did. Are you calling me a liar? Remember, I have a far better memory than you, yours is obviously addled by all the drinking that you do.”
And on it goes. Past misdemeanours both real and imagined are brought up and levelled against you. Bringing up the past is good for all occasions. If you accuse us of flirting with someone, we will remind you of your brazen behaviour with our brother. If you complain because we have not taken the rubbish out, we will remind you how you forgot to pick up our drying cleaning on three separate occasions. Accuse us of over-spending and we will revisit your last three shopping trips and reel off every item that you purchased. The confidence with which we describe these past events has you bewildered and at times you are unable to recall whether we are actually correct or whether we are making it up. You often think that we are making things up but the conviction we demonstrate has you doubting your own recall. This technique is used by us frequently. It moves the subject of the argument on to you, frustrates, angers and upsets you so that you provide us with and has you often apologising so that we know we have landed a blow and laid down a marker. Reminding you of the past, real or imagined is something we do frequently. What is behind using this manipulative technique to acquire fuel and control? Simple. We bring up the past because we are intimidated by what is happening in the present.
16 thoughts on “The Narcissist Manipulates : Digging Up the Past”
… and now I understand in retrospect, my mother asking several times through the years why I had married the best friend of my good friend. I carefully explained every time thinking she had developed early dementia at the age of around 60, with all the stress from my father´s cancer illness:
“No, mom, that´s not Steve’s best friend Joe. My husband is a completely different person named Joe. He is a namesake.”
A month later I would get the “So isn’t he sad that you stole his best friend Joe?” again and again and again. I didn’t even have strength on reflecting why that would have been morally wrong either, that’s two hetero men (so no love-jealousy there), good friends, and one of them would marry me.
It was like one of those British common sitcoms about the old mother’s very irritating loss of memory, where everything she says comes off as bullying.
I thought she was ready for elderly care home, but didn’t bring anything up about her memory because, well, she has always been a piece of work; nowadays with all the knowledge and behaviours I understand the diagnosis: Middle Midrange B elite or somatic.
This is why not a single discussion was ever completed, this manipulation right here. Oh, it was so frustrating!!
And it´´s especially “nice” when it´s your dad who comes up with embarrassing stories about you which happened 10 or 20 years ago and throws them into your face again and again and again and once more! 🤪 Digging up the past is his favorite! 🤪
Oh Leela, I am so sorry he does this to you. My ex was the worst narc I had that did it and he’s long gone so I don’t deal with it any more, it is a relief.
All good. You know, since I have had clarity about Patri Narc (NDC), I can take everything pretty easy. I know the manipulations, I know why he is doing this and I know it´s not his fault. I just lean back and play along, saying “Yes dad” and thinking “eat my shit” 😂
Oh wow, that’s what I do with my mom now too! It works really well! If there’s not too much time together, like…anything over 45 seconds…😂
I see Patri Narc about 2-3 times per year. I´m ANC. We fortunately live several hundreds of kilometers and thus, several hours of travelling, apart. He switched to drawing only positive fuel, the occasional hoovers are rare and benign. It´s not a big deal anymore. It´s just shitty for us ACONs having a parent or even two parents with narcissistic personality disorder. 🙄
Yes, it is. I’m glad for you, for the distance. And for you knowing now, it does help. My siblings left and haven’t looked back, 30 years or more ago. But they have no idea what happened to us, at least from what I know, which admittedly isn’t much. I hope they have found some peace.
Are all your siblings Empaths? It is very understandable that they went GOSO. That´s the right thing to do. They went GOSO in order to protect themselves. I can handle Patri Narc this 2-3 times per year. As long as he stays benign, it´s okay. He broke off. He doesn´t care anymore about me, I´m a tertiary source. He takes occasionally some positive fuel but that´s it. Due to the distance he seeks fuel elsewhere: IPPS (mom), neighbors, friends, relatives, other non-intimate tertiary sources. And I became his trophy-daughter, he can tell everybody about my academic achievements 🤪 and he still does´n´t get tired of asking me about my money and status 🤪 so he can brag about it. 🤪
I believe my sister is a narcissist but I have not done and NDC on her. My brother is probably an empath, I think he’s married to a narcissist who controls him a lot. Yes, they left for their own well-being, and understandably so. I wanted to but my ex would not do it. He had options with his employment but I think for his fuel needs etc it was preferable to stay. Everything was about his needs, I was not allowed a voice in any decisions that made a difference to him, yet all the decisions that did not impact him, and as I now understand it his prime aims, were put on me. He is such an asshole. Wow, I’m on a role, second time I’ve typed that this morning, already.
I am glad for you that you have it as it is with your Patri Narc, it sounds like it is a good place to be.
He is an old, sick man. His body is fit and healthy (Somatic! Of course!), he still looks great for an almost 80-year old, but his mind has been sick all his life. NPD is serious!
I don’t know if my mother is a narc. Will have to consult HG. I was tight with my father who was without a doubt an empath. But her silences. She doesn’t say a word but you know when she disapproves. Silence. Eat shit I shall think … thanks!!! Lol my poor son loves her and she dotes on him but she is a country club rich golfer and he chose to be a boxer in the marines. She approves his military choic s and encourages him to prevail there even an education but she hates boxing. So, he will get excited about seeing mike Tyson in nigtengake in we go ( West Hollywood). Silence. He asks me why is she like that? I said to I snore her as a small minded person who just loves golf. His grandma adores him but has no knowledge on bixung. I lied. I for one sacrificed myself for my childrens dreams and encourage their path. I have always paid for coaches and gyms even met with the military owner to ask him to help my child. I can’t imagine ever not expressing nourishing encouragement as to who they are, not my plans. I did cry when he joined 8 years but only for his safety and apologized. He got it. Kids know who you are. But ear shit, yes.
Leelasfuelstinks, I really feel for you. My dad does this too. He even did it at my graduation ceremony 😔 xx
Thanks JB. My Patri Narc did that all the time. But after I found out what he is (Upper Mid Ranger Somatic), I can take it easy and think “bla bla bla bla bla bla bla, eat my shit, Mid Ranger” 🤪😂😂
Yes LFS, I think once you know what he is, it does help, because you realise none of it is personal. However, instead I now struggle with the fact that my mum has stood by all these years and appeared to tolerate this treatment of me xx
Exactly the same here!