The true criminals in this case never felt any remorse and at this point never will. But you have enough to cover the whole horde of them - I guess it had to be balanced out somehow.

No one holds you responsible because you weren't. You were nothing but the "alpha victim," and if you didn't do it, your replacement would have. The "omega victims" were beyond rescue. For some there is no justice in this world.

In myths from antiquity, opening Pandora's Box unleashed every evil and disease and cruelty into the world to plague humankind forever. But at the bottom of the box was Hope, and it was all that the unfortunate people had to cling to in trying to withstand all the rest of it.

Somewhere, Jeff, somewhere you found hope. It might not even have felt that way, but just living and building a life and family for yourself would have been impossible without it. I am so glad you found it. And, even more than before, I am so glad you are alive.

When your life was your own, you did only good things and none of what the criminals demanded would ever have entered your mind. The strongest proof of this is the life that you have lived once it became your own once again. THAT is the real Jeff - young or old. A good person at heart - and a good person who deserved to live, and who was right to stay alive.

Bless you.
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny