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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Fame is one of those things people tend to want until they have it - or that people shy away from entirely because they understand how sideways it tends to go.
But what about people who end up famous after their deaths? Or who managed to get more famous from the afterlife?
Reddit user GCanuck asked:
"Which historically famous person do you think would be most surprised to learn they are famous?"
If your mind immediately went to that Vincent Van Gogh scene from Dr. Who then 1. you're a nerd (me too!) and 2. you're not alone.
Here's what Reddit had to say.
The Little Painter FellowVan Gogh Reaction GIF by GIF IT UPGiphy
"Vincent van Gogh."
"His paintings made billions of dollars for rich people, but couldn't trade a painting for a meal during his lifetime. Had to be supported by his brother."
"It’s amazing how many pieces he created in such a short time considering how unsuccessful he was in selling them while alive. He kept banging them out despite his 'failure'.”
"He was encouraged to paint as part of his therapy/rehabilitation. He was a pretty disturbed guy, and not in a romantic way."
"Have you ever seen the Doctor Who episode about him?"
"This is what actually prompted this question for me."
"Most of the world has read your diary."
"Wait...All of my diary?"
"Her Father censored some of it because she talks about her body and other things, I can't really blame him for that. Modern prints are uncensored."
"She’d have been thrilled, but I don’t think surprised is the right word. She dreamed of being a published author. She knew that she was creating something valuable and important with her diary, and she wanted it to be published."
"I wonder what she'd think of her diary being turned into a stage play including a Broadway run and thousands of young girls doing their best to recreate all the different facets both good and bad of how she acted during her time in the Annex."
Herman The Whalebart simpson episode 3 GIFGiphy
"He had a few early successes with seafaring books, but Moby-Dick was a total flop that got bad reviews, and he spent the final decades of his life working in the customs department."
"He would be shocked to hear he wrote the Great American Novel."
"My boyfriend is from New Bedford, MA. Apparently the local high schools there had big murals depicting scenes from Moby Dick." "
*That* would have amazed Melville."
"Dude, that's the best part. You never know what's coming next. It's like:"
"45 pages of unintentionally hilarious interactions between Ishmael and Queequeg."
"30 pages of incredible, brooding drama written in stage play format for some reason."
"100 page essay about some minor technical details about whaling and how some village built their chieftain's hall out of a whale's ribcage."
"Another 20 pages of Ahab chewing the scenery and embodying mankind's self-destructive obsessions"
"Then Queequeg speaking his last words but then deciding he doesn't want to die yet and miraculously springing back to life."
"Like the ocean itself, you have to accept that Moby Dick moves at its own pace lol"
We, In Fact, Did Not Forget
"Hegelochus, an actor who mispronounced a word in a play in the year 408 BC and was mocked so thoroughly for it, his mistake has made it into the collective ledger of things historians know about and generally agree upon having happened… and we're still aware of it over 2,400 years later."
"Imagine making a meme today with a word misspelled, and others found that misspelling so egregiously mockable that you are still known for it in the year 4422."
" 'Oh come on get over it. No one will remember about that by tomorrow' -Hehelochus’ mom probably"
"He must have went to sleep running the moment in his head over and over again, but he probably tried to comfort himself by thinking, 'well, at least it's not like some space-age hyper-futuristic society is going to be discussing this thousands of years from now on their magic boxes powered by lightning in some language that doesn't even exist yet'."
"This is the worst nightmare of everyone that has been told to stop worrying because no one will pay as much attention to what you're doing as you."
"Counter point: Hegelochus."
"Kafka. Rarely published in his lifetime, and when he did it was in obscure magazines which nobody read."
"Explicitly asked that his works be destroyed after his death. It's only because his executor disregarded his wishes and published his unfinished works (which comprise the majority of his oeuvre) that he is famous today."
"Kafka is a good example of how much can anxiety ruin a person's life"
"Kafka wrote his stories to be shared with a group of friends like story-telling at a campfire"
"Blind Willie Johnson."
"He passed away blind, poor and sick, lying in the ruins of his house after it was burnt down."
"And his song 'Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground' left our solar system not too long ago aboard the Voyager to be listened to by life among the stars."
"I really like to think one day-thousands and thousands of years in the future, an alien race will find that golden disk and hear his voice."
"I think the fact he had such a poor life but could one day live eternally amongst the stars is so beautiful."
"Found out about him through a VSauce video."
"I listened to a couple songs and really liked them, he had a great voice and had a great talent for playing guitar despite being blind. Such a humbling and inspiring story he had"
"I remember learning about this in a Vsauce video and crying profusely afterwards, but not only from sadness, also from hope, and some other emotions I can’t possibly describe."
"The fact that he died at the lowest of lows, blind, sick, poor, and alone, yet he very well could be the man that teaches the stars about the very essence of humanity… there’s just something so intrinsically beautiful about that."
"Humanity, flawed as it is, is as intrinsically kind and beautiful as it is evil. The world forgets that sometimes."
Other Madonnamona lisa oh no you didnt GIFGiphy
"Lisa Gherardini, the Mona Lisa model."
"She was just some unremarkable random wife. Fast forward a few hundred years and she ended up as one of the most recognizable faces in history."
"HER NAMES NOT EVEN MONA LISA?!"
" 'Monna' was a shortening of the Italian word 'madonna', which was the equivalent of the English 'Madam'."
Honor Well Pass Death
"This is the dead body they used in Operation Mincemeat."
"The man basically consumed rat poison to commit suicide."
"His corpse was then used for a British secret operation to carry fake documents for the Nazis to find in order to make them think they were invading Greece and not Sicily."
"This man died in a alleyway and went on the become a dedicated Major in the British military buried with full military rites - under his fake name, but still him in physical form."
"He was originally buried under his covert identity (in Spain where his body washed ashore after being deposited in the sea nearby by a Royal Navy submarine), Major William Martin of the Royal Marines."
"In 2009 or thereabouts his real name (Glyndwr Michael) was added to his gravestone."
"I thought he died of tuberculosis so it’d be more convincing he was a British serviceman who drowned? Or maybe that was the guy used to make the Nazis think the Allies were invading Calais instead of Normandy."
"It was rat poison but it's not clear if it was a suicide."
"The poison was in the form of a paste that would be smeared on pieces of bread; rodents eat the bread, rodents die. Or in this case; poor Welshman eats the bread, poor Welshman dies."
"It's not clear whether he knew the paste was poison, or whether he was just hungry and thought he genuinely found some bread lying around."
"Where the confusion comes in is that the guy in charge of Mincemeat claimed the body was that of a young man who died of pneumonia, and that the parents had given permission for his body to be used as it was."
A Real Hero
"A literal hero of humanity who in some ways is still alive."
"Her family deserved so much better though."
"Can I get a short version? I don't think I've heard of her before"
"Her contribution to science is and continues to be gigantic"
Laws Of Inheritance
"Gregor Mendel, the monk and scientist who experimented with pea plant traits to describe what we today literally call Mendelian inheritance."
"The significance of Mendel's findings, which he published in 1866, went almost completely unrecognized during his life and after his death. His work was only rediscovered in the early 1900s when modern ideas about inheritance and selection started taking hold."
"I can differ there. When he first stated his theory, he was sure it was correct (as it was) but was rejected. I can imagine him not being surprised at the fact that his work was re recognised as right later down the line"
"It's entirely possible you're correct and Mendel suspected that someday he'd be proved right. At the same time, however, he spent decades after his discovery trying and failing to elicit interest from the academic public or individual biologists, and retired from science to become a monastery administrator, which looks a lot like 'giving up'."
Okay, so we learned some interesting history today. How about you?
Don't you love a good myth?
Let's put some of NSFW ones to the test.
RedditorWizzlyG33wanted to hear about what lies need to be exposed when it comes to sex, death and all things over the top in life. They asked:
"If MythBusters had a NSFW episode, what would you want to see on it?"
Oh JamieSeason 1 Love GIF by OutlanderGiphy
"A five second segment where Jamie points at a diagram and says, in complete deadpan, 'This is where the clitoris is.'"
"If they did such an episode, I could see this being in it for sure."
"I want them to purchase every pill they see on the internet that would make their penis bigger and see what happens."
"I think we can call that one BUSTED already. In what version of any world can you imagine there is a simple pill to make your junk more impressive and every dude you know doesn't already have a case of 10000 pills stashed under the bed?"
"Can you actually get an STD from a toilet seat?"
"This is an interesting thing actually. It was a myth deliberately perpetuated to make people less ashamed of asking for STD tests."
"Fun fact: There are multiple STDs that can be dormant (like inactive) for years. Like several years."
"You’d never know you had gotten it. Then something triggers it, maybe an infection or something, and then you start showing symptoms/Can now test positive. So technically a partner from years before could have given it to you and you either think your SO is cheating or haven’t been with anybody in a long time. Either way it’s scary when you think about it."
"Does a person really stay conscious for a few moments after beheading?"
"There was a French physician who tested this in the early 1900s. After a criminal was beheaded he picked up the head and shouted the criminal's name. The guy opened his eyes and made eye contact with the physician over a period of 30 seconds whenever his name was called. Edit: I provided the source in other comments but here it is on the original comment."
Theorieslooking down homer simpson GIFGiphy
"Size correlates to what? Feet? Nose? So many theories."
"I have size 12 feet and a massive nose and huge hands and the little guy is small."
Oh the lies and the rumors and the shade.
More is MoreSeth Meyers Dancing GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy
"They did prove that women with larger breasts will get more tips. Which isn’t really not safe for work, because Kari literally was working at a coffee shop."
"If breast enlargements will help your job would you be able to write them off on your taxes?"
"How deep underwater are you still able to orgasm?"
"Pretty sure there's no lower limit. When you're underwater, your body is under pressure, but for the most part doesn't actually get compressed. Only your air spaces (lungs, sinuses, inner ears) are really subject to compression from ambient water pressure. There can be painful exceptions like air pockets inside a tooth filling, which I do not recommend experiencing."
"Most of your body is water or various solids, which push back on the ambient water pressure. You prostate shouldn't be blocked by water pressure any more than your bladder is. Source: am old scuba diver, I've done all kinds of things a hundred feet underwater. At that depth the ambient pressure is 4 bar, which in olden-tymes units is nearly 60 pounds per square inch. Also: fish do it underwater, doesn't seem to stop them."
"Does pineapple make your semen taste better?"
"Post orgasm clarity: How much better can you solve puzzles or remember something?"
"Well, recently I did a lot of reaction time tests on humanbenchmark.com and while normally I get average of around 140-145, after a good O I consistently got around 130-135, very often getting single clicks close to 120 which almost never happens in other cases. And it's weird because I feel more tired but apparently my reaction time improves for some reason."
Safety FirstSafety Helmet GIF by Just SecondsGiphy
"A take on the top ten OSHA violations list to see if they are as dangerous as they say."
"Safety regulations are written in blood."
Well that is a ton of great suggestions. Let's work on it.
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Many people value solitude, and having time to themselves.
For others though, loneliness can be a crippling feeling.
Having no one to talk to or spend time with can get wearying after an extended amount of time.
Something many people know more than ever after the global pandemic hit in spring of 2020.
But while some people simply succumb to being lonely, others will find ways to help them cope with, if not completely forget, being all alone.
Redditor No_Blackberry_6286 was curious to hear the different ways people have of coping with their loneliness, leading them to ask:
"Reddit, how do you cope with loneliness?"
Make the most with what makes you happy
"I've learned to enjoy my own company and focus on my hobbies."
"Funny enough, this gives me stuff to talk about when I am around people."
Voices in the background
"Listening to people talk on YouTube so I feel less alone in my house."
Millions of friends, just one click away.
"Chat with random people on Reddit."internet computer GIFGiphy
Still figuring it out
"I don't I'm f*cking miserable."- Savathunh
"I don't :("- __MashedPotatoes__·
Get my body movin'
"It makes me feel better about myself and I have something to do alone."- DerpBread69Gym Working Out GIF by Chance The RapperGiphy
Who says I need to?
"I love solitude."- Befuddled_GenXer
"I become one with loneliness."- thenewyorkofficesolitude GIFGiphy
Hit the snooze button
"Sleep 12+ hours a day."- RockandRoll682
Instant tension and relief
"Lots of arguing online about sh*t I don't care about at all, just to have some form of social interaction, and get off at least 3 times a day."-
There are very few worse feelings than that of being alone.
But it's also quite remarkable how much doing something that makes you happy, be it ever so simple, can elevate your feelings.
In this day and age of advancement, it's crazy how so many things leave our heads scratching.
Like how in 2022 is such and such still around?
Everyone in New York wondered that for the past decade until they took the final payphone.
I always wonder about companies that still make you send a fax.
Y'all have heard of email right?
RedditorPineapple_WarpDrivewanted to compare notes on why we think certain things and parts of life are not yet obsolete this late in the game of time. They asked:
"It’s 2022, what shouldn’t exist now?"
I feel like the list will be longer than we expect. We are still behind in certain ways.
lazy...Bubble Gum Cartoon GIFGiphy
"People sticking gum on random surfaces instead of at least throwing it towards the trash can a few feet away."
How is this allowed?
"'Convenience' fees to pay bills online."
"Yeah or any 'additional fee' that’s required to buy the product or service. Advertise $100 but then at check out they add in service fee $25, convenience fee $10."
"Always at the last second too, usually right before you enter your credit card info. Wtf? How is this allowed? Just advertise $135 if that’s the price the customer is paying. Should not be allowed to bait a low price and switch with a higher one once the customer is already invested."
Can you hear me now?
"Not being able to get cell service is spots in my own home."
"A friend worked in Africa building homes for the people. He said there were bush men with spears and loin cloths with a cell phone clipped on the side. Middle of nowhere yet reception everywhere."
"Most of Africa skipped land lines altogether and went straight to mobile. In the west, cell phones and mobile internet are a luxury, in less developed regions it's often the only way to communicate."
"Companies that create problems and sell solutions instead of solving existing problems."
"This was the inevitable outcome of an economic system in which only those doing labor are allowed to have food and shelter, yet technology is constantly reducing the amount of labor that is actually necessary."
"We only get money for food if we are seen to be working on problems. Now we're having a shortage of actual problems so we must make artificial ones to keep surviving. If only we had UBI, all of these pointless industries would disappear overnight as no one wants to keep working these jobs they know are pointless."
Hang UpCall Me Hello GIF by IDKGiphy
"I literally had spammers somehow dupe the phone number of my local council, it's scary just how close they can get."
I HATE these SPAM calls. All hours of the day and night. I hate you!
Speed UpInternet Mouse GIF by kotutohumGiphy
"We figured it out. Just that the companies are greedy and keep the money for themselves instead of upgrading infrastructure."
"I know! Whatever happened with the Paperwork Reduction Act?"
"in the U.S. you can reduce your junk mail a lot by going to.DMAChoice.org and OptOutPrescreen.com and filling out the forms for your address. I have reduced my junk mail by about 90% : FTC source"
"Having to spend 3 hours in traffic everyday."
"Because North American cities have over restrictive zoning laws that segregate cities based on type of usage and they build to a very low density and with car-centric development that makes it so everyone has to use a car to get anywhere."
"It's not so easy to just 'find a job closer to home' for example I'll search on Indeed and the closest job in my line of work is like 2hrs away."
"So everything but earth Is round right? (according to flat Earthers) So as some members say it's like a frisbee in space. What if, bear with me... the reason the world will end is because a giant dog will catch us and kill everyone on earth by shaking the frisbee too much and cause floods and crap. Because if so, that's how I wanna die, letting a pupper have some fun with a fisbee."
Grossunderstand john boehner GIFGiphy
"Child beauty pageants."
"If I see a mother make her child do one of those, I WILL judge her."
Can we work on eradicating these things? It's all well past expired.
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