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Special Needs

I have gone more than out of my way offering free holidays to those with Special Needs - those on benefits and with HIV who are struggling financially and those with a ' hard luck story' - maybe a recent bereavement or a recent hospital operation where they now need a space to relax and be looked after, and it has always been offered from the heart and always with the right intentions, to give someone a moment in time for healing - at no cost to them, just as a kind and thoughtful humane thing to do for another human being.

I estimate I have given away at least £100,000 worth of free holidays at Hamilton Hall in the 22 years I have been here and considering we are only a small venue and we have always struggled financially - and are not backed by some corporate power, charitable body, council of church :- where it is just little old me and my one helper beavering away 12 - 18 hours a day - 7 days a week - and I offer this as I believe more people should help others in need instead of always looking at the profit margins all the time.

I recently had a very strange phone call which I hung up on as I thought it was someone messing about.

But something told me to call it back and be patient, which I did.

The man on the other end clearly has serious problems and could hardly talk - it takes an absolute age to get a sentence out of him as he fumbles and stumbles over the words and it is greatly time consuming. I took the time for a month, 3 or 4 times a day he would call, and he is trying to plan a trip here in late October and panicking about it now. I have gone way beyond what my patience would normally allow for one person - who I have never met - who is making this reservation almost impossible to arrange and where I have gone way beyond being a hotelier and have taken the time to converse as best we can and to find out what he wants and what we can offer. I have been thoughtful and kind - and so when he then turned it all around last week and stated he didn't think I wanted him here at Hamilton Hall at all - it rally ticked me off.

Why else would I spend hours of my precious time - and as I told him - WHILE I AM HORRIBLY ILL and running Hamilton Hall - HIGH SEASON when we are fully booked and ALL WITHOUT ANY STAFF - so was doing 12 - 14 hour days while feeling like absolute shit and after all the time I have spent - for him to actually throw that at me, that I basically didn't care or want him here, I was damned annoyed.

Why else am I wasting hours of my time trying to help a complete stranger if not to help him with his holiday plans and before you ask it, he was going to pay the basic minimum and receive free meals and so much for for free, so is NOT a money spinner for me but a nice gesture. It made me stop and wonder why - as he had told me before, too many abuse him and because his speech is so difficult to grasp, most simply turn away out of frustration and he is hurt by that, yet I had not, I was still fully involved with him and for him to them pull that one - that I really wasn't interested in having him come and stay, is either self inflicted 'poor me' - which makes everyone pull away as they are not going to help someone who constantly keeps pushing them away - or the man is just looking for extra sympathy.

I told him of my annoyance at him and several times he hung up on me, and when we did speak I told him I wanted a week free from his phone calls so I could concentrate on getting well and finding a new staff member and getting Hamilton Hall back to how it should be - and he absolutely didn't like that and has continued to call between 5 and 12 times a day, always at meal times and deliberately when he knows I am busy and even at 3am and 4am the phone will ring just twice before he hangs up, and I know it is him as his number in announced and I ignore it.

So the man who claims to have suffered abuse at the hands of others is now abusing someone who was kind and thoughtful towards him and asked for nothing in return other than knowing a man in need was getting help, and it saddens me hugely.

You put yourself out to help others and time and time again, they shit all over you.

Had he respected my wishes and given me the week free of his constant calls, I would have continued with helping him and arranged his booking and collected him from the station and although I did tell him I was NOT his carer and we DO NOT offer personal assistance if he needs help dressing etc. and that if he needs to bring a care assistant with him we would do a very good price for him - I now feel loathed to do anything for him as he has now become a nuisance calling all the time and in the middle of the night and he has turned into an annoying little shit.


This is the man with serious emotional, mental and physical needs and a speech that is so hard to follow most simply give up, yet I was willing to go out of my way to help this man as I have always believed -

'There but for the grace of God - goes I.'

and I am now not sure I want him here, not sure I want his petulance and temper when something doesn't go his way as I do not warrant his frustrations of life in general thrown at me, and while I understand and have complete sympathy - I AM ILL - ALL THROUGH THE HEAT WAVE I WAS SHIVERING IN BED AND SWIMMING IN A POOL OF SWEAT. I still managed to run the venue and still managed to keep things together while feeling like shit myself - having lost 8kg in 3 days - and all the while being messed about by people wanting the job here but fucking me about and all at a time when unwell and where we have a full house.

So I do not answer his calls and have not spoken to him in a while and now I have witnessed his petulance and how he throws his toys out of the pram and at the very people who are trying to help, I am really not so sure any more that my journey is to help this man at all.

At the end of the day, we all have to look after Number One first, and I have spent too many years looking after others first and putting myself second time and time again, and this time, I am taking the lead and am standing my ground.

You fuck with me

You pay the consequences.

I shall wait and see what I shall do and your input would be interesting.

Am I being an asshole ?

Am I right to stand my ground ?

John Bellamy


Some of your comments below: And thanks guys. Much appreciated.

Not the asshole John. You give more back to the gay world than anyone else I know, well maybe Peter Tatchell does more - but for decades you have been there offering and decades giving and decades comforting and it is about time someone spent some time ON YOU, spoiling you for a change, so never feel guilty if you pull away and protect yourself - especially as you have been ill and working hard.



John: I know just what you mean. I was a Social Worker who quit after 10 years after one too many broken noses inflicted by patients lashing out - not deliberately at me but still, I ended up with a broken nose 7 times in 10 years, and I had had enough. I was shown absolutely no concern or help by my department head who basically told me ' it comes with the job' - and no it does not and no is should not and I am not here to be abused, so I quit. I do admire how you keep going and keep trying and keep reaching out and I think you are a National Treasure John. Neil


You need the patience of a saint John when dealing with a lot of people who need special assistance. They do not mean to abuse in return and it is just life's frustrations that get bottled up and at times, come smashing out and anyone around will feel the brunt of their anger and frustration at life, and if and when you cannot communicate as we do verbally, then that frustration can be deeply held and violent if and when released. You are not an asshole John for wanting to look after yourself at a time when you are ill, or at any time come to that, as your job is not a 9 - 5 Monday to Friday - it is 12 - 15 hours a day and 7 days a week ( my Mother has a B&B and I know how hard she works ) and stop beating yourself up and forgive yourself - as well as him - and move on - whether it be together or without him. You come first.

Michael --------------------------------

Of course you are not an asshole John. You reached out to a complete stranger in need. You went out of your way to help. For whatever reason, he seems unaware he took advantage and then complained and you have every right to feel put upon.

Not the asshole John. Definitely not.



Difficult one John. He is probably lonely and saw you as a new friend. He seems to have hurt you with a silly comment when he was probably having one of his ' poor me' moments. Frustration at life is true for us all but when you cannot communicate and be heard, it must be extra deep rooted. You both have my sympathy and you especially as it is not your journey and not yours to do anything, yet you choose to put yourself out there for others and at times, some will be aresholes while others accepting and grateful. The universe sees and hears all and you will get your reward in Heaven.


( I don't want reward other that I want the very best for people and when they ask for help and then reject, it saddens. JB ) --------------------------- HOME PAGE

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