I am so lost John. Can you help ?

Living a life where there is no life - no passion - no excitement and no 'get-up-and-go' any more, leaves many screaming for SOMETHING - ANYTHING - as their life has little meaning any more.

This is an e mail I received this week and it was anonymous and sent through my system and I do not recognise the return address but thought I would slightly edit and share with you as this affects many in life. I did ask permission to share it with you.

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Dear John. I hope you do not mind me writing to you like this, but I have no one else. Literally, I have no one else. We visited Hamilton Hall three years ago and I was surprised my partner absolutely loved it - as he's a picky individual and difficult to please - and since lockdown my life has been all change and I thought you could offer some guidance John. I sincerely hope you don't mind but as I have no one else to turn to, I hope you are not offended. I follow you Blog and know you are a compassionate caring man.

I have been with my lover for 20 years. I am 45 and he is 65 and while we love each other I have been going slowly ape shit mad for a long time now. . We have a very nice home with huge grounds here in Kent, 3 cars, a campervan for weekend trips and he even has a beautiful cottage in Dorset lost in the green fields and neither of us have worked for a long time.

He has a lot of minor medical problems that need attention 2 or 3 times a day - and often during the night - and some trips are just off the agenda as he cannot fly and has problems with sea sickness so we have stayed UK bound for decades now.

I was walking the dogs this afternoon and suddenly felt like bursting into tears as it came over me how empty my life was as there has to be more to looking after my partner all day and every day and where I do not actually have a life of my own. I sit in the massive house in the afternoons while he rests and just stare out the window and watch the rain fall and wonder where my life is headed and where it all went.

I know it is not all about me, but a tiny part of my day - a tiny part of my life, has to be about me and yet it seems I am just 'his partner' and I am never treated with respect and value and wonder where my life is taking me. I have helped create this by being so subservient over the years and so willing to give up my job ( I was a restaurant manager - 140 covers ) all those years ago to live with my wealthy lover, but over time, it has cost me a lot, emotionally and physically.

We have few friends as he is an awkward bugger and so difficult that most friends pull away after a while - and he resents me keeping in contact if he is not invited so friendships fall away - and I am left alone with a difficult man who while I love, I am also aware I resent - as he dislikes me having friends of my own. That is not his fault as I agreed to anything and everything we have or have not done together and I have not worked, and lived a very nice lifestyle, for the last 20 years. I take responsibility for that. However John, the future looks so empty and void of anything for me - and today of all days I got your weekly Blog and watching certain animals asking humans for help, I burst into tears again and this e mail is the outcome.

Here I am in this beautiful home with absolutely no life in it, no energy, just room after room full of beautiful things that mean nothing to me any more and I feel trapped in a gilded cage - surrounded with silence all the time as he doesn't like music and enjoys reading. This has now really got to me lately as I sit alone in silence of lockdown going slowly insane.

I love TV and his one concession was to get Netflix, which he constantly says shows only rubbish and while I watch it alone, he does like to constantly complain about the volume and the whole evening he will be in the library reading but shouting to turn the volume down all the time and I am left just wanting to enjoy a film on my own without constantly being barked at, and I am so desperate for change. But afraid.

Your Blog woke me up to where I am at and that if I do not do something for myself - and even with my partner and take him along for the ride, I am going to die of boredom, just as he seems to be doing - and also friendless and alone.


I trust you are a clever man and with wide knowledge of life, and wondered if you had any words of advise for me.


Name withheld

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JB RESPONDS:

It did sadden me to read your e mail as I can totally relate to your position. Personally and through that of others.


COMMUNICATION.

You MUST open some kind of dialogue / conversation between the two of you and you need to make him aware of how you feel and how much you love him, ( godda keep reminding him of that ) BUT, that you need more out of life and how you want to do this WITH him, and if not, you need to be respected and allowed to have some life outside of the home, him and the dogs. Number One: You want to watch TV without his complaining about the noise and DEMAND that he goes to another room where be cannot hear it as you are sick and tired of his constant complaining about anything you do, and YOU MUST start to put your foot down as otherwise, he will continue walking all over you - so - GET A FUCKING BACK BONE and stand up for yourself.

Remind him of your loyalty and love for him all these decades and remind him you are his partner - HIS LOVER - and not his un paid carer or live in housekeeper - as even a housekeeper would have 2 days off a week and time alone to be themselves.

You say you have bought into this for a long time, and never forget, so has he, and I am sure he is no ones fool and knows exactly what is going on and maybe, just maybe - his health issues do need a part time / full time carer - or at least someone to give you some free time for yourself - and his selfishness knows nothing else and like my Mother while she was alive, she always considered everything to be all about her and not another single person really mattered to her unless it affected her or she needed something from you, and it sounds as if this might be what is going on here.


If he complains he doesn't like strangers in the house, then tell him it is for the betterment of you both and how you want to be happy again, and that finding a carer is happening and unless he wants social services involved where you have no idea who is helping, a paid private carer you get to know and trust, especially if he pays well, becomes a friend and companion and can be of ENORMOUS help to you both. PLUS - there are plenty of gay carers out there who would be a delightful breath of fresh air for you both and bring new energy and life into your home.


If he says you can cope, tell him you cannot, and will not, as he gets older, be able to cope and better find help now than when things get bad and besides, you need to start standing up for yourself and saying how you do not want to spend the rest of your life wiping his bottom and cleaning up behind him... ( so to speak ) and that you both deserve a bit of freshness in the daily routine. You do not say if you talk about this with him or not but I am guessing the answer is no, and that maybe you are afraid of him finding someone else and you would / could be out with nothing ? Remember the laws have been changed since you met and you are more protected than you think BUT you DO need - if you are going to stay - to make sure he has you in his WILL - as I have heard so many horrendous stories of people dying and their partner of decades left with nothing as the will gave everything to a homophobic family who immediately kicked the surviving partner out of the house he has shared for decades but with no protection, has been left homeless and with nothing. YOU MUST PROTECT YOURSELF.

Maybe bring him to Hamilton Hall again and - with complete discretion between us that you have written, we can get chatting and see if I can offer some ideas and guidance - for you both - as often people only pay attention when there is an outside person there, with no hidden agenda - other than helping.


I have known many people in your situation over the years - many - and I have witnessed first hand too many taking advantage and after decades dying and shitting on the remaining partner from a great height and where they find themselves destitute and with nothing after decades with a partner, and you do not want this.

You need to cover yourself - protect yourself - and build a relationship together based on mutual respect and not one of need. You must live your lives while you can and not vegetate away in a luxurious prison where no one knows you even exist.


Not sure I have helped but as I say... come to Hammy Hall and we can chat some more and see if we cannot set in place some changes that will enlighten and create a future not so isolated and alone.


John Bellamy

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It did move me when I read this e mail above and it did take me back years to friends I had known. Friends in similar positions. One obnoxious man from my past in his 50's when I was a teenager always went on and on about how he was waiting for Mummy to die, who he lived with in the big house, and that after she died he had such plans for travel and so forth and while he never worked, just lived off Mummy, she lived to be 97 and died having made him spend the fucking lot on her care package and even had to sell the house and he was - on her death - almost destitute and having never worked, no pension either.

It moved me as I have heard the story many times before in one way or another and the sadness, the isolation, the silence, the waste of time and the waste of life, is so deeply sad.

You can feel it here in Sandbanks, an area of Bournemouth full of multi million £ homes that have absolutely no atmosphere. Vacuous. No personality. There may be money, but there sure aint no life. You know, like in the film Titanic where she is above stairs suffering a pompous pretentious stuffy dinner - and then below deck with the common folk kicking off her shoes and actually living - dancing, laughing, having fun and touching on joy.

It reminded me that there are too many lonely people out there. Too many OAP's afraid to ask for help. Too many ignored by their family and too many who don't want to bother others, but who desperately are in need.


If that is you, then PLEASE chat with me and come and stay at Hamilton Hall for a few days and be my guest for free and let's see if we can ignite a spark, a small pilot light- within - and see if we can start a roaring fire for the future.

It only takes a moment to make changes.

It takes a lifetime of work from your first to your last breath.

As an identical twin I felt it during the first lot of lockdowns, alone every evening and most the day - and this really was something new for me, but I got over it, got use to it, and watched plenty of telly and waited for the change that was to come and now we are almost out of Covid and the hotel is busier, it is wonderful to welcome people back again and share the journey. We are not solitary animals and always work better with others.


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Lettice and Lovage Play by Peter Shaffer

Lettice and Lovage is a comical and satirical play by Peter Shaffer. It is centered around a flamboyant tour guide who loves to embellish the history behind an English country house and who butts heads with a fact-conscious official at the house - and the two elderly ladies seem to hate each other. When the country house is shut down and the two find themselves out of work and - alone - they end up sharing a flat together as they have no one else and even if you dislike someone, at least you have company and when you realise you have sod all else in your life, then maybe, just maybe, the one you hated becomes the one you need the most - for conversation, eating together, sharing and company and before you know it, hate turns to love. -------------------------------------


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