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."
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"
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!"
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."
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."
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."
"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."
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."
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."
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 quit.my 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"
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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Life is really tough right now.
It's never been easy, but the world is such a disaster, it's really hard to have faith in humanity.
We need to help one another.
And often times the greatest help comes from a complete stranger.
We all leave an imprint on one another, good or bad.
Some leave a more permanent one than others.
Redditornyxflarewanted to talk about the people from our lives that left a lasting impression. They asked:
"Who is one stranger you still remember?"
So who here still depends on the kindness of strangers?
1986Baby Facepalm GIF by MOODMANGiphy
"I was leaving the hospital in 1986 with my husband and newborn. A lady in the elevator admired the baby and then looked at us and said, 'be good to each other.' We weren’t."
Pay it Forward
"When I was 18 I was at McDonalds trying to get breakfast for all the guys from work, I came up like 5 bucks short and this old guy paid the difference and said 'you’ll have to help somebody out someday too.' So now whenever I get the chance to do something like that for someone that’s what I say. I hope the cycle makes it back to that guy."
"One day I woke up and had a headache. And that headache lasted every day for 2 years. I saw every doctor I could and tried every diet I could. No answers. My quality of life was non-existent and I was on the cusp of losing my job. I was at a restaurant with my mom, I was on one of my specialty diets that was supposed to help with headaches (spoilers, it wasn't)."
"I asked the waitress what was in the salad dressing. She asked 'I know it's none of my business, but can I ask why"' A short conversation later, she mentioned a doctor that worked specifically for people dealing with mold toxicity, otherwise known as MYCOTOXICOSIS."
"That waitress saved my life that day and I don't even remember her name. This was in Superior, Colorado at the now closed CB&Potts. If you happen to read this, you have no idea how grateful my family and I are to have run into you that day. Thank you."
Thanks Sweet Lady
"I had a person like this when I was a kid and I left my wallet next to a vending machine at the mall and when I came back it was gone. I lost a whole 7 dollars and I was devastated. This sweet little old lady saw me having a melt down and I was freaking out about how my parents were going to kill me and this lady legit gave me a 20."
"To an 8 year old who gets 2$ allowance per week a 20 was like getting handed 300$ as an adult. I hope it came back around for her too. Since this was in 1997 and she was probably 70 I don't think she would still be alive today."
"The Sikh man I met on a flight from god-knows-where to London who invited me to their temple to eat for free."
I'm amazed. There are good people in the world. Still jaded.
Thank you stranger...Ufc 205 Thank You GIF by UFCGiphy
"My anxiety was at it's peak and I was walking home from school. Then someone came up to me and just started talking to be like I was a normal person."
"Social skills were @ss, but he didn't seem to care. Gave me the confidence I needed to start doing the same and helping others who were lonely. Thank you, stranger. It was because of him that I was able to help others get out of their Social awkwardness."
"It was around February 2016 and the city got hit with a massive snow storm, I remember waiting at the bus stop with a mother and her child in a stroller. The bus was 45 minutes delayed, it was very cold with the wind chill, when the bus arrived we both got on."
"I chose a seat of the opposite side of the bus and this mother and her now crying child was sitting near the front, I could see that the mother was trying to warm her sons hands but was having no luck while her child kept crying. I moved from my seat and sat next to her and took her child’s hands in my hands. His hands were freezing while mine were toasty from my gloves."
"After about 5 minutes, the child calmed down and the bus was quiet again. I stayed with that mother and child for almost 2 hours on the bus until we finally got to our stop. I never learned of the child’s name or the mothers. I just simple sat there with them warming her child’s freezing hands up."
Stay for Me
"I don’t remember him, just what he did for me. I was 19, got t-boned in an intersection by someone running a red and was knocked unconscious. He was a witness, and I think someone said he was the first person to call 9-1-1. He took my phone while I was out (before the days of locking phones), called my house, no one home, called my dad’s cell, which was answered."
"He told my dad what had happened and which hospital the paramedics said they were taking me to, and somehow managed to avoid making my dad panic about me. I mostly came to before I got loaded into the ambulance, at which point he gave me back my phone and said my parents would meet me at the hospital."
"I gather he then stayed to talk to the cops to speak up for me because I didn’t remember what had happened and the other driver kept saying it was my fault. I never got to thank him for going so far out of his way to help a complete stranger."
I think about her often...
"I believe I was 19 at the time. I worked at Walmart at time and was working in the back that day when a lady that worked in the meat department was walking past me crying, I hugged her and asked what was wrong. She was covered in bruises and she told me her boyfriend beat her. She opened up and told me she was leaving him so I asked if she needed a place to stay that way she's safe and she told me no."
"Turns out he was waiting outside for her during her lunch, I once again asked if she was okay and if she needed help and she said no. After that night I never saw her again. I have no idea if she is alive and safe. I hope she's okay, I think about her often."
CrashCrashing Relapse Records GIF by Red FangGiphy
"This guy that helped me out after I rolled my truck, he was late for work because he stayed with me until the tow truck got there. Really restored my faith in humanity."
Some people just leave a lasting impression. So better. Be kind.
When we hear the words "addict" or "addiction", our mind usually jumps to drugs and alcohol.
But addictive behavior transcends those common vices.
Indeed, people can find themselves becoming addicted to just about anything.
While some pose a less significant threat to one's physical health, they remain no less serious a problem.
Redditor Windsorbear97 was curious to hear which addictions the Reddit community felt weren't given enough attention of concern, leading them to ask:
'What is an addiction that nobody takes seriously?"
Time to cut back on the screen time...
"My phone and my usage of said phone."- VagueViper88
And not the kind you find on stage...
"Some people thrive and are addicted to drama and chaos."- CM_NRS
You can't just have one
"Binge eating."- Loulabee1983
Oh look at that, I must have it!
"Especially if you grew up poor and have more money when you're an adult."
"My mom was so bad with this that when she died it was a disaster figuring out what she had paid for and where she had debt."
"I have a friend who would spend her whole paycheck on Amazon purchases and wouldn't even see this as being an issue, even when she would beg her parents or rich men for money to make rent."
"They usually buy junk they don't even need or clothes."
"So many clothes."
"They always shop when they are not feeling well, it is 100% a coping mechanism."
"I was in my 20s when I realized that no one else had a mom who would go to Walmart with a 100$ budget cause they were feeling sad."
"Such an obviously expensive addiction too." - User Deleted
How "social" is it though?
"Dopamine feedback loop from various forms of electronic entertainment and social media sites."- Clintman
"Went to a counsellor after I had taken any sort of social media app off of my phone in an attempt to stop using it to distract myself from what I'm feeling because I'm currently going through a break up."
"Basically as soon as I got too emotional in the session, she suggested we do this blinking exercise where you look at a nice photo and blink and do that a few times."
"we did this because she 'knew distractions worked well for me'."
"That's why I'm back here as well."
"Seems pointless to distract myself if my 'good' option is to be distracted by someone else sitting across the room."- Glum_Advertising_958
Can't think of getting through my day without it.
"Caffeine, without a doubt in my mind."- No_Relationship9732
Big money... not really
"It’s taken seriously to an extent, but things like the lottery are very glamorized, and there’s so many tv competitions and radio competitions etc out there nowadays and they’re kinda gateways."- Safe-Initiative4266
There's no harm in putting something off... until it's too late!
"It’s embarrassing because I should be able to 'just do it', but then a task that shouldn’t feel too hard will feel so daunting and impossible, I’ll end up doing it late or sometimes not at all, and the whole cycle is the root of so many problems in my life."
"It’s emotionally and functionally horrible when it gets bad enough."
"I’ve read all the advice out there and none of it works for me for longer than a day or two."
"I’m at my wit’s end and feel crazy because it’s so illogical but I can’t stop."- thatbassonist
Indeed, if you find yourself unable to kick a particular habit, it might be worth asking yourself if this is, in fact, just a habit.
And then find the courage to ask for help should you need it.
Banning and censorship is nothing new in America.
Or, in the world at large really.
It all starts on a small scale.
They start stripping us of things at school and work.
You know, all for the greater good.
Redditor t0rnado_thegamerwanted to discuss the items that have been taken out of circulation for ridiculous reasons. They asked:
"What's the stupidest thing your school/work banned?"
I feel the banning has only just begun. But let's see what we've already lost.
FallenGIF by LeannimatorGiphy
"We weren't allowed to build a snowman because it 'might fall on you.' They suggested we build a 'snow forest' instead - snowballs on the ground > 1 meter apart. Nobody built snow forests."
"6th graders and only 6th graders weren't allowed to draw outside of assigned art projects. I heard any number of reasons for the ban--'gang signs,' vandalism, distraction--but never got one for why the ban didn't apply to 5th or 7th graders. My only guess is that one of the 6th grade teachers just really hated seeing children's artwork."
"My primary school (age 5 to 11) in the UK banned talking during lunch. Every single child had to eat lunch in a big room, in absolute silence. No talking to friends or socialising allowed. It was pretty insane now I think about it."
"I was gonna comment this too. My school banned talking at lunch if it got too loud. We had a cup at each table the teachers would make us turn them over and stop talking frequently each lunch."
"The theory was that someone would choke and no one would hear them if it was loud. Incidentally, the only time somebody choked was during a period of quiet and nobody knew because YOU CAN’T TALK WHILE CHOKING!! The person was fine though."
The Rule Book
"The lack of shoes, as in there is an specific rule against it detailing what should and should not be worn in your feet, all this because a friend of mine read the Rule book and it only said that 'Students must always come wearing appropriate pants and shirts that do not break the etiquette code.' He went to school with shoes and took them off at the entrance for a semester just to piss off the principal. I love that guy."
CodeCharlie Brown Snow GIFGiphy
"Anything with a snowman on it. Apparently that was code for cocaine."
Wow, Snowmen really get a bad rap out in these streets.
OuchGo Easy On Me GIF by AdeleGiphy
"We weren't allowed to say anything was easy because it might hurt the feelings of kids who didn't think that thing was easy."
"Back in my high school, they banned water bottles unless they were clear bc people had been sneaking alcohol into school, but like clear alcoholic drinks are a thing?? so it basically did nothing."
"Our school did that, too, after previously banning water bottles altogether. One of my teachers then got really bent out of shape about so many people using disposable plastic bottles but the school was really strict about how clear your water bottle had to be and not everyone had a qualifying reusable bottle on hand so what did she expect?"
in the ye' olden days...
"Bottle flipping when that was a trend in the ye' olden days long since forgotten. I don’t know why, and it’s not like they did a good job telling us about the ban so my first and only detention I’ve ever gotten was from flipping a stupid water bottle. That and the 'fight club' that formed in PE but that’s a different story."
"Probably Yugioh cards.They were banned because a group of moms made up a rumor that in another unspecified country a kid had died while holding a fiend-type monster, so clearly they were satanic. Years later I learned that one of those moms was my friend's mom and she just didn't want to buy the cards for her son."
Ho Ho HoMerry Christmas Reaction GIF by Macy'sGiphy
"Saying Christmas. Had to be called 'the current religious festival.' And no decorations were allowed."
Why are we banning the wrong things? This is nonsense.
People say parenting is one of the most rewarding things in life. That all of the lack of sleep, constant crying, and stress is worth it when you see your baby smile. And all of that is true, for the most part.
However, being a parent is hard, and it's not always easy to give that unconditional love. Sometimes, you do your best for your kids and they still turn out to be people you can't really reconcile with.
You'll always love your kids, but sometimes it's near impossible to like them.
Redditor eyriesistable asked:
"At what point did you realize you don’t like your own kid?"
Some Reddit Users Talked About Momentary Dislike
These are parents of young, cute toddlers and are mostly joking about disliking their kid.
Laughing At Pain
"My 2 year old just yanked my hair and laughed when I said 'ouch!'. I still love him but he's a little f*cker sometimes."
The Classic Toddler Offense
"My two year old got sent home from daycare today because he bit three different kids, unprovoked, before noon."
"He stole my cat."
"Only 18 months old the little prick and he's always had a fascination with animals, any time he sees one he points, starts walking towards it going "aaaaaaaww""
"Anyway, me and my cat used to be best buddies but currently my cat is sat in his lap whilst he's stroking him going "aaaaaaaww""
"And it's the same every day"
A Drinking Problem
"I walked in to her room and caught my kid sitting on her bed drinking a Pepsi. She has always known we are a Faygo household. I can look past some things but when you disrespect me in my own house I just don’t know how you get past something like that."
Waiting To Get Her Back
"Every time the lil' f*cker wakes us up before 5 am. Can't wait untill her teenage years, I will be up at dawn every day asking why she isn't getting out of bed and make some of her day instead. Revenge is only 10 years away."
Others Talked About Issues That May Never Be Resolved
These are parents who don't like their kids' personalities and don't see anything ever changing.
A Missing Bond
"For real, I used to have an issue for several years with my three daughters. I didn't feel the parental love that one would expect. I would still protect them from harm and all that but I did not have the emotional connection I thought I would with my kids. I spoke out of concern with my wife about it several times and she suspects that it was how I was raised by an abusive father figure. Nowadays the love is there but I feel that I missed out on too many things when they were growing up. I did not bond when I was supposed to I guess. I never really went out of my way to hold them when they were little. I just pray that I hid that fact well enough from them that they don't find out. I don't want them to think I don't care..."
Some Of Them Want To Use You
"When they became a narcissistic adult-trash talking everyone for attention, me included. They are a user (of people) like I’ve never seen before. I still love them, but do not like them."
0 for 3
"My grandmother had 3 kids and doesn't like any of them. Loves all three but doesn't like them. The first is just an a-hole who used her for money and her house like a hotel. Second... they just don't click, total opposites. Third is a needy lil mooch/hoarder who throws tantrums over stuff like the frosting color on Easter cookies because "that's not how daddy did it when I was little""
He Is Mean
"He started hating on me from an early age. He would literally give me the cold shoulder - monosyllabic responses to me while not looking up from his games, then become open and chatty when anyone else entered the room. I ate it for years - he's just a kid, right?"
"I ended up leaving his dad. He blamed me for everything and called the cops on me after yelling at me over the phone."
"I talked to his brother after the cops left. He was so frustrated on my behalf and only then told me all the low-key things younger brother had done under the radar; he was more mean than I realized; I thought it was only directed at me. My older son was sympathetic and made me feel better. He said his younger brother had a lot of issues."
"I really don't give my younger son an option to call the cops on me again."
Lie, Lie, Lie
"I think it's kinda sad how I know that my stepfather (who had his own daughter) wished I was his kid instead of her. To be fair, the girl kept making stories up about what we did to her and she was alienating him from the rest of his family. I think I can even pinpoint the day he realised that this wasn't miscommunication but rather her just lying about everything."
"She ran away from home and after years of fighting it was finally calm. And honestly, screw her, she didn't have to lie to anyone about us, she didn't have to steal from me or my mum to the point that a gift for my birthday was a lock on my door."
"I hope she doesn't screw over whoever is taking care of her now but I doubt it."
These are some intense stories! Parenting is hard, and the truth is, when it's good, it's good, but when it's bad, it's really bad.