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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When looking at a resume, it's easy to understand how prospective employers will assume someone is very intelligent based on their education and past experience.
But one shouldn't only assume someone's intelligence based on what they read.
More often than not, one can tell rather quickly that someone possesses above-average intelligence, based on how they speak, how they behave, or other telling details.
Redditor PadWanKenobi was curious to hear what people felt were the tell tale signs they were in the company of a possible genius, leading them to ask:
"What’s a sign of extremely high intelligence?"
"Ability to intuitively and quickly understand complex systems and how lots of parts relate in a coherent whole."
"Like I work with some people who just keep tons of concepts in their head and easily integrate new information into their understanding of those concepts."
"They immediately know what questions they should be asking to better understand."
"And these are things they're currently working on, not like things they spent time studying in school over years."
"They just have a very strong ability to synthesize new information into their understanding."
"I sit in meetings distracted and confused having forgotten what we talked about in the previous meetings, and these folks just consistently have a solid handle on everything."- Ok-Control-787
Innate Problem Solvers
"They know when not to solve a problem."
"This took me a while to understand but the smartest people I know do this."
"It could be a really simple thing like ignoring emails from people asking for help."
"The supervisor or boss might have a quick and easy solution for the situation but instead of just handing it to the person that asked they let them figure it out on their own."
"They know who they can do this with and when to do it."
"If they did that with all of their underlings it would just create a mess."
"Another example that I can think of is planned chaos."
"Some people can predict exactly where things will go wrong and they could fix it before it creates a problem."
"They don't because nobody ever notices what's going on in the background when things are working perfectly."
"Once things fails then everybody notices and if you are the one person that fixed it you become the hero."
"They can also use then chaos to reach a goal they couldn't get before if things were working correctly."
"There's many examples of this in every day life that I didn't see before until I realized what was happening."- atapesGiphy
You know what they say about people with small hands
"If your hand is smaller than your face."- FallofTheKnight
The all knowing glow.
"When someone asks you a question and you push your glasses up while light comes out of it and covers your eyes for some reason."- JonEregor
Those giveaway behavioral quirks
"Wearing glasses and saying things like 'ah yes', and 'I see' while you pensively rub your chin."- iuytrefdgh436yujhe2Thinking Reaction GIF by ABC TV + IVIEWGiphy
"When they explain something they make the people around them feel smarter, not dumber."- redkat85
Being one step ahead.
"The capacity to understand complex things, see patterns where regular people don't."- Ostepop234
"They have this tendency to make you go 'Ohhh, why didn't I think of that?' when listening to them talk."- did_it_forthelulzWhy Didnt I Think Of That Cillian Murphy GIFGiphy
An endless love of learning
"A passion for knowledge and expanding understanding of complex concepts."
"The plumber can be just as insightful as the scholar."- KatatoniK94
Of course, one shouldn't always be fooled by what they see.
As many people are masters at appearing much smarter than they are.
In fact, one important sign of super intelligence is being able to separate those who appear smart, from those who actually are.
With each passing year of a marriage, couples will often discover that while they don't love each other any less than they once did, that spark their relationship used to carry has faded.
This will often lead these couples to look for ways to spice things up a bit.
Among the more popular experiments is inviting a third member to their bedroom.
Enticing as this prospect is, however, it's also easy to be intimidated by the reality of it, or even the mere suggestion of it.
"Men, what advice do you have for men whose wives want to bring a third into the bedroom?"
Make sure you want to do it.
"You need to be completely honest with yourself, ask if this is something you want and could live with."- Dame87
Proceed with caution
"It’s like frolicking in a mine field."
"You both better be SUPER into the idea, you can’t have one person who’s reluctantly agreed to go along with it."
"And established rules."
"A threesome sounds like fun and games until you’re watching your partner make faces and sounds that you only thought were for you in your most intimate moments together, and a burning jealousy comes out of nowhere and breaks your heart."
"I’m not saying it’s automatically a bad idea and I know people do polyamory successfully, but dear god be careful."- coleosis1414
Make sure you're an active participant
"I had an ex that was adamant that she wanted to be a swinger or whatever."
"The one time I decided to roll with it, I hit it off immediately with the other dude's girlfriend and had a blast hanging out with her all night."
"The other dude was a total creep, though."
"Also, my ex could not handle the fact that someone else was giving me the slightest bit of attention."
"So, needless to say, that didn't go anywhere."
"Turns out she didn't want to be a swinger, she just wanted to have sex with other people behind my back, which she had no problems whatsoever with."- Ted_Denslow
Look out for ulterior motives
"Just remember that if you bring this up and your husband is against it, that could be the beginning of the end of your marriage."
"For a lot of people their partner saying 'I am seriously considering having sex with other people and I'm checking with you if it is ok', is a deal breaker."- gamerplays
Consider a test run?
"Go to a bar together separately."
"Watch them flirt/interact with someone else."
"If you get jealous, it's probably a bad idea to bring in a third."
"If it turns you on, go for it."- SinSlayer
Query people with experience.
"It’s something my wife and I have talked about."
"We both agreed that opening the Pandora’s box is not the way we want our relationship to go."
"While it sounds fun, we have seen way to many relationships derailed because of it."- DarthDujo
Consider going whole hog.
"Bring a 4th."- xxemrgmi
Evaluate your relationship first.
"Make sure you and your partner are secure in your own relationship before having another person join."
"Have boundaries, and no secrets."
"From my experience it doesn't usually work out in the end."- Thick-Procedure455
"Don't do it."
"For a long time, my ex harbored a fantasy of watching me have sex with another woman."
"Hey, who knows why any of us are wired the way we are?"
"After contemplating the idea together for a while, we decided to approach one of her more attractive co-workers, who had made a series of flattering comments along the lines of "you're so lucky" and "he's so good-looking'."
"She enthusiastically agreed."
"Our first meet-up was of course awkward, but the second, third and following were pretty good."
"In fact they got progressively hotter, as we all got more comfortable with each other's boundaries, erotic likes and dislikes."
"However, over a few months these occasional kinky weekends transitioned into the co-worker asking more frequently and aggressively to be invited over."
"We tried to explain that we had intended these threesomes to be rare and exotic highlights in our sex life, not regular occurrences, but she didn't take the message to heart and instead became increasingly insistent, bordering on smothering."
"After being turned down one Friday, that night she unexpectedly showed up at our door anyway, carrying a weekend bag and wearing nothing but a raincoat, stay-ups and heels."
"While that was quite a sight, it definitely creeped us out, as it made us finally realize the whole arrangement was descending into 'play Misty for me' territory."
"My ex and I agreed that her unexpected and unwelcome appearance signaled the end of future three-ways, at least until we were able to cool our own selves down, reassess, and perhaps later find a less demanding and insistent third."
"Things subsequently got very sticky at work for my wife, as her co-worker, with whom she had to interact closely, strongly resented being permabanned, and kept demanding to know 'what she'd done that was so awful'."
"Coworker eventually asked to be transferred to another office, but by the time that process was over and done, the discomfort / guilt / pressure / confusion my ex was suffering both at home and at work had begun to take its psychological toll."
"I must confess it didn't help that our own sex life was simultaneously going through a rough patch."
"Long story short, we ended our decade-long relationship less than a year after breaking off the threesomes, chiefly due to trust issues and growing sexual incompatibility, both perhaps triggered by our experimentation."
"Ever since, I've regretted agreeing to that first three-way."
"If I hadn't been so damned eager to take a bite of forbidden fruit, we might have kept our relationship intact."
"But I guess this can also be put down as what sometimes happens when you ignore that old advice, 'don't sh*t where you sleep'."- theartfulcodger
When venturing into the unknown, it's always wise to gain some first hand experience, to hear a variety of pros and cons of what you're possibly getting yourself into.
That way, deciding whether or not it's for you will become increasingly clear.
It's also important to remember, that it is always ok to say "no".
People Share Their Best 'You Either Die The Hero Or Live Long Enough To Become The Villain' Experiences
"You either die the hero or live long enough to become the villain."
Though not necessarily a universal truth, all of us have witnessed unfortunate moments in our lives where we've seen this saying become a reality.
Be it seeing our favorite public figures take a serious fall from grace, someone we know and admire eventually disappointing us in a devastating manner, or even seeing ourselves turn into someone we promised we'd never become.
One Redditor was curious to hear people's examples of this saying coming to light, either from a personal experience or seeing it happen to a well-known, public figure, leading them to ask:
"Who is your example of 'you either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain'?"
"He originally stood up for civil rights when it was really unpopular."
"Was hospitalized and accidentally placed in the black ward."
"When the doctors found out, they tried to move him, but he refused."
"Then he became a cult leader and used his power and influence to end the lives of a thousand people."- Crvsby
Earning a position of power
"Working in restaurant kitchens."
"You either burn out young, or become the boss that everyone hates."
"There's exceptions, but that's the rule."- grandpas_old_crow
"Henry Heimlich, inventor of the Heimlich Maneuver."
"Made up a bunch of untested uses for it, treating people having asthma attacks, and drowning victims were the two I remember that he publicly talked up."
"Later, he funded an experiment that involved injecting people with Malaria to see if it would treat other conditions.
"The experiment was found to be unethical by American review boards, so he conducted them in Ethiopia." - User Deleted
"In WW1 he led the French to victory at Verdun, one of the worst battles in human history."
"In WW2, after France was beaten, Petain was the head of state of Vichy France."
"Guy went from the Lion of Verdun to the biggest Nazi collaborator in France."- arthuranymoredonuts
"Every organ until it gets cancer."- SuperBaconjam
"He had the whole country behind him here in Ireland at one point bar people who thought combat sport is grotesque."
"He was witty, original, backing himself up and having a Hollywood like rise to stardom."
"Now he's someone who the whole country is ashamed of, goes punching old men, clearly sleeps around on his wife while she's at home with the kids, just a walking caricature of himself."
"He didn't listen to his own advice."
"Get out."- StephenPigot2020
Turning into our parents
"My dad used to annoy me by calling my Pokemon cards 'Pokey-Mans'."
"Now my kids have them and I do the same thing and it annoys the sh*t out of them."
"Thanks for the (Pokeyman) gold!"- rumpel4skinOU
"Almost died during the revolutionary way, if I recall correctly, and if he had he would have been remembered a huge hero, and a martyr."
"Instead he lived and changed sides, and is remembered only for his being a traitor."- uniqueperson22
Be it someone we knew quite intimately, or someone we admired from a far, it is always heartbreaking to see someone evolve from someone we love, to someone we utterly hate.
Sometimes we do things that have to be done.
And some of those things live in life's gray area of right and wrong.
What comes as a surprise to some is when we don't care if we're wrong.
We may still technically be in the right.
But morally and ethically, there may be some issues.
But still, many people don't care.
Redditor BirdyPizzawanted to see who would fess up about some of the worst things we're responsible for but have no shame.
"What is the darkest thing you have ever done and don’t regret?"
I've stolen from department stores that overcharged. I was arrested. I didn't care. So there...
"Five years ago my dad suffered a catastrophic stroke. Left paralyzed and robbed of his speech and ability to communicate he was a shell of the once vibrant, charismatic man he once was. He was moved into skilled nursing where he lived for nearly two years, he was miserable."
"On my last visit I told him it was okay if he wanted to leave us, that we would miss him but he should go. A week later I received the call that he had passed. Instead of immediate grief I felt relief. Relief that he was finally free. The grief came later and I still miss him every single day."
"Got into a car accident and had to stay with my mom for a couple days to figure out what to do. Went back to my apartment (I had two roommates) and everything was missing from my room. Long story short one of my roommates had everything hidden in her room."
"I called and told her the things were missing from my room and she came up with a lie that a couple girls came to look at my room (I was moving out bc of the accident, long story) and that they must have taken my things. She had everything I owned. Including my grandmothers perfume bottles, stuffed to the back of her closet, under her bed, behind her dresser etc."
"So I packed all of my stuff up. Then took a giant black garbage bag and stuffed as much of her closet in it as I could. Took it to the middle of nowhere, dug a hole and burnt it. She called screaming at me that her stuff was missing. I told her the two girls must have come by and taken her stuff too."
"I hit my uncle left right and center when he was trying to choke my father to death. I was 16 years old at that time, a very skinny girl. I beat his face neck and every part of him that I could target with so much intensity that my knuckles turned blue the next day. I had an animalistic rage that day trying to help my father get away from his death grip. I hate my uncle even today."
"I got anger issues because of growing up around him. And I don't regret beating him that day at all. He was physically abusive to his wife as well. One fine day, his wife retaliated by beating him blue with a stick. And he stopped being physically violent towards her post that."
"A neighbor like 10 years ago was neglecting their dog badly in the heat. The dog escaped often and ended up at the shelter a lot. One day she jumped the fence and got her tie-out cable stuck on the fence. (She was not in danger of choking.) Neighbor put her on a 3-foot-long cable tied to a doorknob, no water, 90 degree day. I let some kind folks steal her, watched the whole thing and said nothing to stop them."
"When my father was dying and in pain I was the one who told the doctors he had been through enough and we couldn't see him suffer anymore. Doctor injected him with something, I assume a morphine mega dose and he passed peacefully moments after. Euthanasia may not be legal in UK but compassionate doctors know what's what. I don't regret it because my pa made me promise I would have his back when he got sick or old. I'm sad he got sick and never got to get old."
That is a lot of mess. But sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
"One of my ex best friends in high school was a real narcissistic lunatic. Had so many egotistical fantasies about what he deserved but I remained his friend because we met through my close friend (his girlfriend). As I started realizing what a terrible person he was I convinced him to go after his fantasy of a harem by asking to add a 3rd to their relationship, that led to a fight between his gf."
"I called her about it and asked how she felt about him adding someone to their relationship and about him sleeping with her. She said she knew nothing about that and started crying because he cheated on her. I basically helped orchestrate their breakup and have no regrets. She is happy with her first child now and he is in a toxic af relationship with 3 kids, 2 of which aren't his and his partner is 8 years older than him."
"Had to make the choice to take my dad off of life support after he got Covid this year. He was sedated for a couple of weeks and one of his lungs collapsed and I couldn't watch him fall apart anymore. My dad was a bulky dude. Constantly did a lot of outdoor work and to see him bone skinny and have no muscle left killed me and I knew even if he somehow got through it, he would have been so miserable and depressed in that state he was in. I don’t regret it. I think it was the right thing to do by him. I’ll never not miss him though. That was my buddy."
"Turned a close friend into the fish and game. He would poach mountain lions and bears. His whole family would literally shoot them and leave them. He would brag about it. I couldn’t stand it and felt that I needed to stop him. He’s in prison and so is his uncle. I know I ruined his life but he was literally killing so many mountain lions and bears."
"In middle school, there was this group of boys that would corner me in the hallway and try to scare me. I was the perfect target for these little b**tards. I was short, skinny, and had (and still have) and anxiety disorder. One day I just had enough, and asked a friend if I could have an extra pencil, sharpened it as much as I could, and when I saw one of them in the hallway, I stabbed the hell out of his leg. Sh**head got what he deserved."
Wow... we really are a dark and secretive people.