Denise Huskins' story was so incredible even police had a hard time believing it, but now she has slammed those who say it was a hoax.
Her mysterious disappearance was dubbed the "Gone Girl kidnapping" because of its eerie similarities to the Hollywood thriller where a wife fakes her own disappearance and sends police on a wild goosechase.
In March 2015,d Ms Huskins went missing from her Vallejo home in San Francisco, California.
The physiotherapist's boyfriend Aaron Quinn said two men drugged and kidnapped her and demanded a $8500 (NZ$11,000) ransom. But the kidnappers let her go two days later, and after a frantic 48-hour search, she was found in her hometown of Huntington Beach in Orange County, near her mother's house.
The 29-year-old had sunglasses on and was unscathed, with nothing on her except an overnight bag.
Police refused to believe her story and called the kidnapping a hoax, made up by Ms Huskins and her boyfriend.
Authorities first became suspicious over the small amount of money the kidnappers were requesting and in a press release sent out at the time, police said "there is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all."
So it came as a shock to most when someone was later charged with the kidnapping.
Matthew Muller pleaded guilty to the kidnapping last October and said he used computer-generated voices, blackened swimming goggles, liquid sleeping medication and other props in the abduction.
Court documents said he put the goggles on Ms Huskins and Mr Quinn and headphones over their ears. He played them a recording that said Ms Huskins' face would be cut or she would be given an electric shock if she did not go along with the kidnapping.
The Associated Press reported Muller held Ms Huskins hostage in South Lake Tahoe in California, and sent an email to a newspaper reporter with a recording of Ms Huskins' voice to prove she was alive.
Prosecutors said another email had pictures of items used in the kidnapping, including a black spray-painted water pistol with a flashlight and laser pen attached.
Muller was caught when he attempted to break into another home and dropped his mobile phone, which later traced him back to Ms Huskins' abduction.
Despite a kidnapper being charged, Ms Huskins and her partner are still accused of faking the whole thing and she has lashed out in a Facebook post, saying "all she did was survive".
The Facebook tirade was spurred by a message she received that asked if she was the "horrible lying woman" who faked her own kidnapping.
"Oh wow you are such a horrible person. You are going to hell for the bulls**** u have done. I'd like to slap u a few times. I'd like to have my wife beat u up bad too ... and just so u know, ur not as pretty as you think. I'd put u at being a 5 outta 10 (sic)," the message said.
"You are an ignorant s*** and a filthy liar and I'm glad ur going to hell. Eat s***, w**** (sic)."
Ms Huskins said this was one of the countless messages she was sent.
"Unfortunately, this guy won," she wrote. "After reading this I went into one of my many PTSD episodes of terror. My jaw and back are so sore from the deep powerful shaking and reflexive tension that my whole body goes into. My eyes are sore and red from uncontrollable tears. I am thoroughly exhausted, every inch of my body is tired from the fit of terror it was battling. This was his goal, and I couldn't fight it.
"Congratulations, person I have never met, never heard of who hates me so much that he went out of his way to message me this disgusting, demeaning, dehumanising outrage. I am still disoriented and not sure if I am even making sense. I have to take medication to calm me down. It's almost been two years, a year and a half since it was made public that this was real, that Aaron and I were telling the truth the whole time. All I did was survive, and I was criminalised for it.
"We are trying to do the right thing and let the system do its job. But here we are, starting our new year hoping for a more positive future, but confronted with hate and ignorance."
Her boyfriend also posted a message on his Facebook page after the "unwarranted hated".
"Denise endured unimaginable horrors and should have been treated like a hero when she got home but instead she continues to endure vile messages such as this one. Nevertheless she conducts herself with love and grace. She's my favourite person and unquestionably my hero," he said.
Early last year, Ms Huskins sued the Vallejo police for likening her case to Gone Girl and dubbing it a hoax.