Made in Poland

Made in Poland
So this topic has been on my mind for soooooo long and I always put it off because it never seemed like a ‘good’ time to talk about this. Especially with Brexit, people being so much more vocal and open about their hate and opinions towards Polish people and immigrants.
Most of you probably wouldn’t have a clue that I’m Polish, and that’s something that I really don’t share often. Probably cause I’m just too busy stealing all ya jobs🙄;). Honestly, I don’t really talk about being Polish online because I’m scared of the response. As someone who shares a lot of herself online, this part of me I’ve tried to keep hidden. I even stopped making YouTube videos because I was so paranoid about the little bit of Polish accent that comes out every so often.

I came to the UK with my family when I was 12. I couldn’t speak ANY English, and honestly I really, really, really didn’t want to move here. But as a 12-year-old kid, I had no say in this… Anyway, high school was pretty challenging to say at least. I got bullied A LOT. First of all, I couldn’t speak much English so I couldn’t stand up for myself. Second, of all, EVERYONE in my high school knew that I was the only Polish kid there so I guess I was an easy target to be picked on. Ever since then being called “the Polish one” seemed more like an insult. I hated being me. I hated being Polish. I hated being the “different’ one.
College was a lot better though. Most people were a lot nicer. But also Kay Ska was discovered as a shortening of my real name and it seemed really convenient to me because I wouldn’t get a billion questions about where I’m from etc after telling someone my name.
There were people who’d know me as Kay, and we’d be cool until someone mentioned that I’m Polish, next time they saw me they’d completely blank me, and this happened quite a lot of times, which honestly felt a lot better than being picked on for it.
DSC_0067lttaThis t-shirt I got for my 16th birthday from my friend, and I have hardly worn it.. When I did wear it, I made sure I had a jacket or hoodie to cover it purely because I was so afraid of people who might have a problem with it.. Which I know might sound ridiculous, but for a teenage girl that most of the time wished she wasn’t Polish, it made sense.
I’d love to say that I’m 100% comfortable with me, with being Polish.. But I’m not. I’m very conscious of my voice, my accent. Even though it might have been a couple of years since someone has treated me differently for being Polish, I still get scared that the new people in my life, or even on social media, would treat me differently. And by differently I mean either completely blank me, ignore me, or treat me like I’m less of a person.
No matter where I’m from, I’m still equal, to you!  At the end of the day, we are all human begins, there’s no one less or better than you.  We are all equal.
I realised that I’m not the only one that feels like that, but I’ve never seen, heard anyone talk about it, and honestly it’s not something I like to talk about, but I think with everything I’ve been doing, spreading the mental health awareness, talking about growing up/living in the domestic violence environment. THIS too is a really important topic, that makes sooo many people feel alone!
I wish, when I was a teenager, I could’ve read a post like this, to know that I’m not alone, to know that there’s NOTHING wrong with me, that it’s OKAY not to be like everyone else.
I hope that one day I’ll be able to say that I’m Polish and not be scared of other people response.
And as I write all this, part of me feels like a hypocrite, I’ve shared so much of myself here, I could not give a fuck about what people think about my body, my interests, things that I do, but this, this feels rooted even deeper down, and I haven’t really addressed this much at all until now.
I spent the majority of my life wishing I was someone else but now I’m trying to accept myself just for who I am right now.
So hello, I’m Kay or Karolina. I’m Polish and I’m (still learning to be 100%) okay with that.
K. <3
Share:

7 Comments

  1. Tim
    June 6, 2017 / 3:49 am

    Hi , Kay , we don’t know each other , but I want to endorse your sentiment , we are all Human , that’s it , and on behalf of the majority of Britain often called the silent majority , I welcome all nationalities to what is called Britain, which like most countries has evolved through immigration and conquer over centuries. It is the variety of culture that enriches us all and makes Britain , what it it is , I personally have Polish friends , brilliant artists photographers , musicians and all round supporters of our community, As a teenager I was also forced to move schools through my parents situation, was as you described, isolated picked on bullied , the easy target , and I am English ! Now I am a grandfather and can look back on the experience and view it with a different perspective, but I empathise with how hard it is to face and come to terms with , so well done you , all humans journey is ultimately to learn to be happy in their own selves , and is achieved by treating others as they would want to be treated and , and in seeing themselves with clear glasses , enjoy your life well done with your honesty now let it go and forwards you go x

    • June 6, 2017 / 11:18 am

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words💖

  2. Anonymous
    June 6, 2017 / 12:49 pm

    Hello Karolina thank you for sharing your story. X

  3. Anil Tulsyan
    June 6, 2017 / 5:32 pm

    Hi Kay your words are soothing in a world divided by mind on different grounds and great encouraging power for those who are facing discrimination

  4. June 7, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Hi Kay,
    Yesterday I was reading your blog on Instagram and I liked it and left a quick comment there, but it stayed with me and I just wanted to let you know how much you encouraged me. Encouraged me, not just because at school, I knew what it was like to be picked on, and to be bullied for being the odd one out. Whether that was for being a little bit more sensitive, or for having an accent that didn’t fit, or simply isolated as I seemed to be just arriving after all the friendships were set in stone. You also encouraged me because my partner is Polish, and I very much see your experience of being a teenage Pole in England, as having a lot in common with her experience and perception of being an adult Pole in Scotland, where she equates being Polish with being unwelcome. This is such a shame, because I personally know how awesome having Polish folks around is. I have been blessed by being part of Karolina’s family, and feel we have a lot to benefit – Brits & Poles together – from being together, and learning from each other. So, I’m really glad you are here, telling your stories of healing, speaking up for the outsider, and being a public face for the Polish Brit! I personally feel that Polish people need greater visibility in Britain, need to be seen for the best they have to offer, and to have their voices heard. Thank you for using your voice and letting us know that your face – a known face, a trusted face – is a Polish one. 🙂

  5. michael drevnak
    July 27, 2017 / 1:18 am

    Thank you for sharing your story being half polish I can relate to your story on so many levels 👊

Leave a Reply