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People Who've Been Held Hostage Describe Their Experiences

People Who've Been Held Hostage Describe Their Experiences
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Although we hear about hostage situations and abductions on the news every once in awhile, we rarely ever become aware of the specific details of the experience.

The people caught in the middle of it all are forced to endure the terrifying, monotonous elements of pure fear that persists over the course of hours, or even days.

To better understand those dynamics, a Redditor asked those unfortunate enough to have experience to share their stories.

Redditor Much_Responsibility8 asked:

"People who were held hostage, whats your story?"

Many shared stories of when they or someone they knew was held hostage for the classic reason: to make some cash.

Just Like the Movies

"Someone robbed a bank and held a gun to my head when the teller didn't give them the money immediately. I just remember feeling absolutely nothing the entire time, and the only thought in my head was that I'd be okay with dying because it'd at least be quick. It wasn't until a couple hours after the incident when my emotions actually hit me and I cried."

"Had some lingering panic attacks for a few months after, but they went away and I had no other PTSD symptoms. These days I feel completely fine about it and use it as an icebreaker when it feels appropriate. I was also a senior in college when it happened and was known as the bank robbery girl the rest of the year through graduation lol."

-- analognewb

Cool as a Cucumber

"So he wasn't held hostage but when my Dad was about 18 he worked for a gardening center in Chicago and he was closing for the night. Every night my Dad's job was to close up and walk the money from the registers to the owners house."

"So right before closing a guy came in and pulled a gun out demanding all the money in the register. So my dad, being the only one there, and with a gun in his face opens the register and gives the guy like $60. The dude obviously took the cash and ran off and my dad being the calm guy he is just shook it off and locked up."

"He still had to go to the owners house so he did and he explained to the owner that they had been robbed and the owner was all worried and asked how much money they lost and my dad told him that if was about $60. The owner was pretty relieved because obviously he expected to have had more money stolen and so he asked me dad 'that's all we made today?' And my dad said 'no! Here's your $3,000' "

"Since my dads job was to walk the money to the owners house every night he had already cleared out most of the register and put the money in his jacket pocket, only leaving some extra cash in the register in case someone came in last minute and he needed change. So my Dad stood there with a gun pointed at him and $3,000 hidden in his pocket and gave the guy with the gun $60 because he asked for the money in the register"

-- Evening-Cantaloupe30

The Candy Trade

"My father is a truck driver in São Paulo, Brazi)."

"One time, when i was a kid, he got kidnapped by a gang. They rode with him in a car all day while they stole the cargo (brazilian candy) from the truck. They took him to get coffee and stuff so i guess it wasn't that bad but at the time he was really afraid for his life and his truck."

"In the end they ended up giving the truck back to him and letting him go peacefully. Months later the police managed to arrest some of them and asked my dad to recognize them but he didn't want to get involved."

"PS: A rival candy company was behind the whole thing. Brazil is not for amateurs!"

-- SuperbadCrio

Chaos. Just Chaos.

"I was at a party and a girl invited me back to her place. I was excited but something felt a little off once we started walking. I told her I was going home because I was a little too drunk. She said some persuasive things and we laughed a bit. I went with her."

"We got her place and it was nice but a mess. She had lots of new things laying around but there was packaging all over too. She invited me to her room and there was a guy in her bed in his underwear. I immediately did a 180 and ran towards the front door. The door was locked and had a interior keyed lock."

"He said, 'You to my drugs. Where's my fu**in' drugs.' I turned around and he had a crazy-looking assault rifle pointed at me. I told him I needed to leave and the girl was asking him to calm down. He told me to go back to the bedroom. I thought I was set up and going to get robbed. I pulled out my wallet and handed him the money I had."

"He took it, looked at it and laughed. He threw my cash back at my face and yelled, 'Where is my fu**ing drugs!' I was trembling. I explained I didn't know anything about it or where his was. The girl was looking through the room frantically while he pointed the gun at me. He held the gun to my head and told the girl if he didn't get his coke back I was dead."

"I was shocked. It was a physical impossibility that I could have taken anything from him. He was high out of his mind and just rambled on about his drugs. He had me sit on a chair, pointed his AR at me and interrogated me for what seemed like an hour. The girl looked through the entire house."

"Eventually she came back to the room and the girl found his drugs under the pillows on the bed. He gleefully laughed, 'My bad, I forgot I put that there. You want some?' I got up, said, 'The door,' and walked out of the bed room. He made some one sided small talk, unlocked the door, and said 'Goodbye!' "

"It seemed like I was watching myself from an outside perspective when I was walking home. It felt like I was on autopilot. When I got home I closed the door a flopped on the couch and shivered uncontrollably. I silently cried for a little and went to bed."

"I didn't socialize for over a year until I moved away."

-- turkeybastermcmuffin

Others reminded that many kidnappings and hostage situations are actually the work of parents or close relatives of the victims.

The Getaway Cab

"Might be more of a kidnapping than hostage situation, but close enough."

"My parents were divorced when I was 6. A couple years later my dad moved across the country to California. Fast forward to when I was 12, it was agreed that he would fly to MI and my sister(13) and I would fly out to CA with him for a week then he would fly back with us."

"The trip was pretty sh**. He was a terrible father. For example: he took us to Reno, NV and stuck us in a buffet while him and his new wife gambled all night. Stuff like that."

"The day we were supposed to fly back, he tried to convince us to stay. We declined and said we wanted to go home. He basically said "too bad" and wouldn't take us to the airport."

"I ended up running distraction while my sister called home and gave my mom the scoop. An hour later a cab showed up to my dads place for my sister and I. My dad tried to tell the cabbie to leave, but apparently my mom/aunts/uncles made it very clear that the cab wasn't to leave until we were in the car. Honestly have no idea how they paid for it. I am guessing they pre-paid via credit card over the phone? Seems risky in the 90s."

"My sister and I finally got into the cab and proceeded to fly, by ourselves, back to Michigan with a connecting flight. Our uncle was there at the airport waiting for us at 5am."

"To this day I am floored that we made it back. Shoutout to the flight attendants on Northwest airlines in the mid-90s. One sat with us the whole time on the first flight because the turbulence was so bad. Also when we got lost during the connection, a Northwest employee helped us get on our connecting flight in time."

-- itsdjc

A Broken Record

"My biological father held me hostage as an infant. He broke into my mothers apartment and stole me from my crib. He was pissed that my mother left him (he was an abusive POS) and he was going to take me back to his parents house to hide me. He was threatening to kill me if anyone tried to get me back, if my mother followed him or if the cops got involved. The cops got involved obviously."

"His parents were actually the ones who called the cops, snuck into his room while he was sleeping off his booze to steal me back, took me to the hospital. I still have scars from him cutting me because I wouldn't stop crying (probably because getting stabbed isn't a good way to get a baby to calm down)."

"The house was raided shortly after and he was arrested. He spent some time in prison (idk how long) before being released, marrying someone else and then getting arrested again for abusing his new wife's children."

-- SongbirdofHylia

Permanent Damage

"I'll add my parental kidnapping story."

"Sperm donor and my mom split when I was 4. I was then adopted by my stepdad at 7. When I was 12, the sperm donor picked me up from school, despite my protests to the school that this wasn't right. He kept me for 3 days."

"My mom eventually got me back, but I was a mess afterwards. Just added to the PTSD that I already had from other issues involving the a**hole. Been in therapy off and on since."

-- schroedingersnewcat

And some talked about the times they were abducted or held not by a relative, but by some other less-connected acquaintance who apparently had just enough information to go through with it.


"He was a coworker (m26) who picked me (f17) up after I had ran away after a horrible fight with my mom. As soon as I stepped foot into his room I got locked in for 3 months. I physically didn't leave that room for 3 months."

"I peed in the cat's litter box and ate whatever he bought home from work. I wasn't allowed internet or the phone. I wasn't allowed showers, to brush my teeth, or use a hairbrush. I wasn't allowed to go to school. I didn't speak to my friends or mom for almost 3 months."

-- daughterofthemoon420

Not the Help They Were Looking For

"When I was in preschool, I got in a fight with my babysitter and ran off to the backyard of the apartment building. Our upstairs neighbor saw me and invited me in. I talked to her while she painted and stuff."

"Apparently she was not mentally well and refused to give me back to my babysitter, who called the police."

"She also refused to give me back to the police. I am not sure how they got me back but I have a memory of being on the stairs behind her crying and reaching for the police officers as they tried to talk her down."

-- scarlet_feather

The Dangers of Online Dating

"Met a guy online, we had fun talking, had a lot in common. He asked me to stay at his place over the weekend. I get in his car and fall asleep. I wake up 4 hours from home in the middle of nowhere with zero and I mean ZERO cellphone reception."

"What proceeded to happen was 13 days of trying to get home and not really knowing what day it was. He kept me awake about 20 hours a day filled with non stop horror films (because i was stupid enough to tell him i hated horror films). I only remember eating once or twice. I didnt tell my roommate where i was going, my family thought i was at home. I had just job, literally no one was looking for me."

"Eventually he caught a cold and i was able to talk him into taking me home where i promptly blocked him on everything and blocked it from my memory. A few years later it really sank in that i was probably gonna end up dead and dealt with the trauma with humor"

-- PwrtopUltimate

This list is by no means an attempt to convince anyone to be paranoid. But it certainly isn't a bad idea to keep your head on a swivel.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.