Welcome to the Chelsea Center Hostel Website!
Even though the hostel ceased to exist many years ago (2009/2010), I have kept this Website online in order to one day tell the story of the Chelsea Center Hostel and of Heidi, Hanna (which is me) and Rene. This day has finally come.
It took me many years of inner work, introspection and research to be able to first of all comprehend how deeply the years I was associated with Heidi and the Hostel have harmed me and my ability to function in this world. It seemed for a long time that I was destined to keep repeating the patterns of abuse and codependency that my childhood had groomed me for, and that Heidi had taken so brilliantly perfected.
I also needed to find a way to describe my experience as objectively and truthfully as I could. I think that the form I used, a narrative poem, allowed me to contract the content into a reasonable length. It also made for a more entertaining and hopefully captivating read, especially for anybody who knew us and the hostel at the time these events took place.
I am well aware that not all the actors in this gruesome tale will agree with my view of what took place. However, every word I have written in this account is true. Victims of this kind of crime and abuse tend to be smeared, their suffering minimized and discounted, their truth gaslit and manipulated and their character and testimony ridiculed and belittled, leading to endless cycles of revictimization. By telling my story I am making myself vulnerable to all of the above, and I have no illusions of what I am up against. Even for the well meaning reader my actions and the lack thereof, the utter defenselessness and cluelessness I describe might be hard to comprehend. And it does not help that at the time, from the outside, it would not have been visible at all what was actually going on.
The experience that I describe below, the extent of havoc and destruction it caused in my life, can only be fully grasped by somebody who went through something similar. But still, I did my best to describe in a simple language as well as through examples what I went through. I mostly abstained from using too much psychological lingo and analysis to explain or frame this experience. But without the research and testimony of other victims it would have been virtually impossible for me to have gained my current level of comprehension. I just recently learned about Steven Hassans Bite Model of Authoritarian Control (after I had written this Poem), and it confirmed and supported what I had long suspected.
The claim of Martin Luther King, that THE ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE IS LONG, BUT IT BENDS TOWARDS JUSTICE has always intrigued me. I think it is not an universal truth, yet, or it will never be. But there is one fact: It will never be, if we are not rising above our victimhood and shame to tell our stories, no matter how long it takes us. This is my story.
(Please press the link MYSTORY on the right to read my StoryPoem)
The Chelsea Center is the smallest and one of the oldest hostels in New York. We offer a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and personal service.