Author Topic: When someone accuses you of something they did  (Read 6806 times)

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LazyDaisy

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2014, 05:34:50 PM »
I recommend, if possible, rather than be directly confrontational and calling them a liar, try to ask questions that make it crystal clear to them and others that it did not happen the way they are telling it. "Why in the world would I have said/done that? I was horrified that my parents were so angry/embarrassed. I remember my mother saying... Isn't that about the same time that my mother stopped calling/inviting you over?" Similar to what is recommended on this site for those we suspect of being trolls -- give them enough rope to hang themselves.

It's not quite as traumatic as other OP's stories, but my parents for decades would drive past a liquor store in their town and announce that was where I'd celebrated my first birthday back when it was an ice-cream-parlor-type restaurant. It annoyed me but was generally a trivial thing and I couldn't possibly remember anything from when I was one-year-old, so how could I argue? They seemed fixated on it though because every time we drove past, they'd make the same remark. It was irritating and just never made any sense to me that that would be the location of my first birthday. The reason why it never made any sense...we didn't move to this town until I was in first grade. We lived in a completely different state when I was one. We never had any family that lived in this area (closest was at least 45 miles away). Finally one day, we were driving past and I finally asked how, since we didn't live in California at that time and grandparents lived miles away, that they had come to this particular location when I was one? My parents apparently had never really thought about it. They tried to come up with ideas but each one seemed more and more farfetched until they finally gave up and admitted it just couldn't have been. I imagine that they must have started off by saying that the building looked "just like" the place and eventually that morphed into "is". They'd just repeated the same thing over and over until it became "true".
« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 05:54:15 PM by LazyDaisy »
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KenveeB

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2014, 11:24:37 PM »
My parents do this all the time, especially my mom. It's mostly the silly embarrassing childhood stuff that doesn't really matter, but it's still embarrassing and I don't really want to be continually reminded of it. The only thing that ever works is preempting the story in a bored voice, like PPs have suggested. Even that doesn't work all the time, but it helps. If there are a lot of stories, you can start playing Bingo in your head with them. That's what I do for holidays. ;)

The one that annoys me the most is a birthday cake. Mom insists that I hated my birthday cake one year solely because it was carrot cake. I didn't like the carrot cake part, but the reason I hated the cake is because she'd taken something embarrassing that had happened on our family vacation and had it as the cake decoration. She says now that wasn't on my cake and why would she have put something like that on it? This was when I was 12 or 13, so I was old enough to remember it clearly, and she put it on there because to her it was a hysterical story involving me and she didn't think about it being embarrassing to me and not something I wanted on my birthday cake! She and my dad refuse to believe me about this cake. Drives me nuts. I would ignore the story, except every time I have carrot cake, Mom trots out "Oh, but you hate carrot cake! Remember your birthday--"   ::)

Raintree

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2014, 02:14:30 AM »
I dated a guy who was also a master of revisionist history. You'd make plans for something the night before, and last thing said would be, "OK, so tomorrow you are doing X, Y and Z and I will pick you up at 4:30 so we can do A, B, and C (which are reliant on his having done X, Y, and Z first." It would all be discussed in great detail, finalized, and agreed upon. Then 4:30 would arrive, and I'd be there, and he'd either be out, or he hasn't done X, Y, and Z, and all kinds of other people are waiting on us reliant on the pre-arranged plans, and his version would be, "What? I didn't know you were picking me up at 4:30! And I thought we were doing X/Y/Z after you picked me up, and you never said anything about A/B/C."

It happened over, and over, and over, ie "honest Charlie Brown, I'll hold the ball, I promise not to let it go THIS time."

Another of his favourites was to change stories around to get a laugh. He loved attention, people found him captivating, and he got his laughs. But he would change stories that involved me, to get that laugh. The story would be based on truth, but he'd change a few details to make it funnier. One story in particular that involved me, he simply changed the order of events. So everything he said did happen, but not in the order he said. However, changing the order of events changed how I was portrayed.  It made it look like I did something with the goal of impressing him and outdoing another girl, when in fact, I did it on my own merit, before the other girl had tried it, and it had nothing to do with trying to outdo anyone or impress him.

So there he was telling the story to a group of mutual friends, when I interjected and said "Actually, that's not how it happened. I did X first, and THEN Y happened."

He later got mad at me for "ruining his story" and "why do you care so much about the order, it was funnier when I told it."

His version of reality was so infuriating that I really could not cope with having him in my life anymore.

veronaz

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2014, 02:24:48 PM »
Quote
it seems like a lot of people remember things incorrectly.

I don't think revisionist history has anything to do with a faulty memory.

Alli8098

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2014, 02:50:04 PM »
My parents do this all the time, especially my mom. It's mostly the silly embarrassing childhood stuff that doesn't really matter, but it's still embarrassing and I don't really want to be continually reminded of it. The only thing that ever works is preempting the story in a bored voice, like PPs have suggested. Even that doesn't work all the time, but it helps. If there are a lot of stories, you can start playing Bingo in your head with them. That's what I do for holidays. ;)

The one that annoys me the most is a birthday cake. Mom insists that I hated my birthday cake one year solely because it was carrot cake. I didn't like the carrot cake part, but the reason I hated the cake is because she'd taken something embarrassing that had happened on our family vacation and had it as the cake decoration. She says now that wasn't on my cake and why would she have put something like that on it? This was when I was 12 or 13, so I was old enough to remember it clearly, and she put it on there because to her it was a hysterical story involving me and she didn't think about it being embarrassing to me and not something I wanted on my birthday cake! She and my dad refuse to believe me about this cake. Drives me nuts. I would ignore the story, except every time I have carrot cake, Mom trots out "Oh, but you hate carrot cake! Remember your birthday--"   ::)

This has happened to me with my mother and sister.  Although it had to do with some hospitalizations for depression and outrageous teen behavior on the parts of my sister and myself.  I was hospitalized once, and my sister twice.  However my mother and sister remember it the other way around.  And my diagnosis of OCD I remember receiving at age 14 has been changed to a personality disorder that makes me feel like a super defective person.  But I know what happened and what my diagnosis is/was.  So now I avoid those subjects like the plague with my family.  I can't win with them.  So if the subjects come up again during the holidays when we typically visit I will be beandipping until they get to the hint to move on.

AmethystAnne

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2014, 05:20:58 PM »
Augh, revisionist history. That so deeply annoys me when other people don't remember this correctly.

My DH, his brother(Fred) and his wife (Ethel) were insistent for.many.years. that Fred and Ethel could not possibly have been at the wedding of DH and I because they had moved to KY.

Then who was it in the pictures taken at the wedding? And who was it that signed Ethel's name as witness on the wedding certificate?

I brought pictures to a family get-together because I got sick of hearing about it.  ::) And Ethel and Fred admitted it was them in the pictures.

I thought it was settled....It just came up the other day. DH was ranting about Ethel not being at the wedding. I told him she(!)was(!). He said prove it.......I said okay, and pulled out our wedding certificate and pointed out Ethel's signature (as I was thinking, "Now shut up about it")

<Sigh>I just know it's going to come up again. I am not loud like 'some people'  ::) in the family but when I am right, quiet determination (my FOO characteristic is bull-headedness) sets in, and I will outlast the naysayers, to prove that what I say is correct.

PastryGoddess

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2014, 07:37:58 PM »
I had this happen to me a couple of years ago when I ran a social group.  One of the event organizers also planned events for a different group.  She called me to ask if it was ok, and I simply told her that I knew of at least 3 other organizers that did the same thing.  I did tell her that she needed to ask the group leader if she wanted to know what the "official" policy was.  3 weeks later there was a "goodbye cruel group" email that was sent to all of the organizers where she blamed me for telling her that she could organize stuff for other events and it was my fault that the group leader hated her.  I didn't respond..cause crazy always wins.

6 months later I've left that group and started a new one.  Crazy organizer decided to join our inagural event ::)  From the time she saw me until halfway through the event, she kept referencing how I had gotten her kicked out of the group.  I finally had enough and pointed out in front of quite a few people that SHE LEFT the group under her own steam after the group leader asked her to stop cross posting events with her other group.  I think my final words to her were "No one held a gun to your head and told you to send that crazy email.  You got mad you weren't getting your way and left in a huff.  Bed. Made. Lie"

Funnily enough she declined to have wine with us afterwards and I haven't see her since

greencat

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2014, 08:29:41 PM »
One of my exes used to tell fibs to other people that made him look better.  Usually these were people he was trying to impress for professional purposes, and since we shared money and my finances were somewhat dependent on him succeeding in impressing these people, I would ignore it, although I told him privately that it bothered me.

He did not have a good day the time he told a story that made him look good at my expense.   >:D  When he tried to complain that I had embarrassed him, I told him he had embarrassed himself by telling a lie.  He stopped telling so many fibs - at least in my earshot.

JenJay

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2014, 08:56:55 PM »
A cousin loves bringing up a story from junior high.  When her boyfriend and his buddies were picking us up to go to a dance, I slipped and fell down the front stairs of her house.  I took out two planters and got a nasty cut on my ankle.  I was hurt, embarrassed and dirty.  And the boys laughed at me.  She laughed at me.  When they stopped laughing, someone asked if I was okay.  I snarled, "Do I [f-bomb] looking okay?"  Then they all laughed some more.  I spent a good portion of the dance in the bathroom trying to get dirt off my clothes, cleaning the cut and crying from anger and embarrassment.  Then I walked home (country town, was a 40 minute walk).

She tells this story every time we meet up face to face-- about once every two years.  She finds it hysterical.

In (Spooky does some quick math) 27 years, I have never laughed with her.  Ever.  The last few times, I said, "I've never found this story funny.  And yet you keep telling it."  And she laughs.  I'm not still embarrassed by it, but I find it kind of repugnant that she finds humour in a 13 year old girl getting hurt and embarrassed.

Over the years, I learned to accept that I am not the social, nor physical gazelle I've always wanted to be, so it doesn't bother me that I fell.  It gets under my skin because I've noticed that she brings up this story whenever she thinks that I've come out ahead in something, or when I'm the centre of attention for an accomplishment of some kind. What bothers me is that my pain is continuously being held up as an example worth mocking, usually at a moment that I'm happy or feeling proud of myself.

The other thing that bothers me: she gets the facts wrong.  She has confused some of the details with another incident when I got hurt in gym class two years before this incident.  I think she honestly remembers it that way.  And she doesn't seem to "remember" every other time I've told her that I'm not entertained by her recounting.

I really like the response previously suggested, "I don't remember that way."  It's much better than what I've started doing when she tells the story...

Next time she says the story might be time for a breezy "Oh X! It's been 27 years! Don't you have another story to tell yet?" with a smile to let her know that you find her telling this story a sad commentary on her. Which really it is.

Would it be bad etiquette to say directly, "You know, I find it kind of sad that you find so much humor in telling a story about a 13-year-old girl getting hurt and embarrassed, and you're still telling this story constantly 27 years later.  I'm surprised at such a "mean girl" attitude coming from a grown woman."

With an added "I find it interesting that you bring this up every time I have good news, as if a 13 year old child falling down has anything to do with a 40 year old woman getting a nice promotion at work."

sweetonsno

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #39 on: February 09, 2014, 12:41:48 PM »
I really do think that this is sometimes not deliberate. Things get changed around in our heads.

For instance, during one holiday, my sister announced to one branch of the family that she wanted to do a purge of some of the old decorations and started tossing them. (I rescued a few of my favorites.) Later, she complained to a different branch of the family that it was someone else who had begun to throw them away and she was so sad about it. It's weird. I distinctly remember her announcing that she wanted to get rid of the old decorations and "start over." She apparently remembers another family member just starting to throw them away. I don't think she was deliberately lying; it's more of a faulty recollection.

Allyson

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #40 on: February 09, 2014, 01:09:49 PM »
Yeah, I think the problem with this one is that both people could easily feel the *other* one is the revisionist historian, and with no proof...well, it's an argument that won't go anywhere. I would focus on talking about uncomfortable/embarrassing topics, rather than who's right (unless you somehow had proof that you were!)

Mikayla

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2014, 01:12:58 PM »
I agree with sophia and veronaz.  It isn't just that you're enabling the behavior by agreeing to disagree.  You're also not denying something that may be very out of character.  For example, in the OPs first story, it would bother me to an incredible degree to be accused of passing on private info about my parents.  I don't care how much time has passed - I have never done this and never will.  Nor do I want anyone thinking two people saw this differently.  It's a lie and I get to respond.  Even if it's not deliberate, I still get to defend myself.

Also, on Lynn's point about maybe "we" recalled it wrong, I agree to a certain extent.  But, for me, I quickly recognize situations where this might be possible.  The more specifics I recall, or how the original claim made me feel and what I responded, the less likely this is he said/she said.


Sunbeem

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #42 on: February 10, 2014, 11:16:49 AM »
I'm sure sometimes the revisionism is just a result of faulty memory.  And sometimes a result of subconsciously changing details to portray oneself in a better light.  But there are also times when it can NOT POSSIBLY be anything but intentional. 

I remember once when I was a kid, there was this girl (I cannot say for sure that she's not a sociopath, but that's based on other incidents as well) who was a friend of the family, a few yrs younger than me, and sort-of friends with my little sister.  One day I was over there for whatever reason;  maybe being babysat, or maybe our mothers were chatting.  The mother(s) was/were indoors, and "Abby" and I were playing in the back yard sand box.  Abby's small dog "Wilbur" was outside with us.  Abby said "Let's put sand in Wilbur's eyes!" ( :o >:( ?!?!?!?) and I said, "No, that's mean!"   Abby tried a few more times to convince me to do it, and then gave up and said, "fine. I'll do it."  And she did- she poured a bunch of sand on poor Wilbur's face.  Abby's mother promptly stuck her head out the window and called us inside- she had seen Abby pour the sand.  She asked Abby, "Why did you do that to Wilbur?!" Abby promptly said, "Sunbeem told me to".   "I did not!!!!!!!"  I said.  And her mother seemed to believe me, or at least not disbelieve me enough to pursue the matter.   Well, all that to say, I think revisionist history is often intentional and people think they can get away with it if enough time has passed... or if there were no other witnesses... etc.  Sometimes jerk kids grow up to be jerk grownups...

DianeRN

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #43 on: February 10, 2014, 04:02:54 PM »
My husband is a revisionist historian. His mother had been narcissistic and manipulative from the day I met her. Fastforward to 8 years later and now she has Alzheimer's Disease and has undergone a personality transformation. His memory of her is now that "she was the best mom ever" and "she always wanted what was best for us". Nevermind that he has major issues now from abuses in childhood from her and her FOO. He says that she never knew that any of that happened. There is much more to the story, but it aggravates me when he changes history.

I also say that he has a great memory. It's so good that he remembers things that never even happened.

Otterpop

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Re: When someone accuses you of something they did
« Reply #44 on: February 10, 2014, 04:18:08 PM »
I have an aunt who is, sadly, one of my few remaining relatives.  She has gotten snarky and revisionist in her old age though some of it was evident when she was younger.

My late mother once told me, after aunt slung a few backhanded "compliments" at me, that aunt resented me.  For what reason we had no idea.  Aunt has done well for herself, is educated and has money to travel wherever/whenever she wishes.  She did not have a good relationship with her own mother, who resented her, and had no children of her own, so maybe that's where the rub lies.

She has taken to visiting for afternoon tea when the family is gone and I swear every.single.time she comments on everything from how fat my dog is, how ungrateful my kids are, to how rude my DH is (but he's an "engineer type" and makes good money so it's "o.k").  She never says any of this stuff when others are around, in fact she'll say quite the opposite, so it's hard to explain when I vent to DH later.  I liken it to a constant barrage of tennis balls that I keep lobbing back over the fence.  She'll retract her statements and then send another one.  She also likes to bring up decades old, painful or embarrassing stories about my younger self as an aside to some point she's making.

I've taken to not inviting her anymore, citing busyness, but she'll call and ask to stop by.  I say o.k. as I do love her, she's my only remaining close relative, but her conversations always leave me exhausted.  I have also cut waaay back on any personal information I give her because she's ignorantly critical of all our choices ("You bought a rental property?  How irresponsible!  How spendthrift!"  When the investment paid off big time she said "How nice for you.  You still might lose your shirts." ::) )

Why would anyone want to make a pariah of themselves?  Reading other people's stories it's obvious that the revisionist is insecure to the point that a lie that boosts them is better than what actually happened.  When you are in the relationship yourself it's harder to deal with.  I can give advice to others about their relations but can't figure out what to do myself.  I feel your pain OP and all of you.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 04:36:30 PM by Otterpop »