come back to haunt one
come back to haunt (one)
1. To pursue someone or something in a ghostly or otherwise supernatural form. If you don't do exactly what I want at my funeral, I'll come back to haunt you all!
2. For a past situation, decision, etc. to cause problems for one in the present or future. His poor treatment of his employees might come back to haunt him some day. Her remarks during the campaign have come back to haunt her during the debate.
3. To return to one's consciousness, as of a thought or memory. I've barely slept because that nightmare has come back to haunt me every night this week. The fear that I'll get fired comes back to haunt me all the time.
come back to haunt oneand return to haunt one
Fig. [for a bad memory] to recur; for the consequences of a bad decision to affect one negatively later. I never dreamed that a little thing like a traffic ticket could come back to haunt me years later.