Being Small, and My Tee

Hello Escritori,

I have a sarcastic sense of humour stemming from childhood bullying.

I was short, myopic, into reading and had no arches in my feet. Balancing was tough, without an arch, you can’t spread your weight evenly or tense your toes, so balance beams were terrifying. Now, I am a recreational runner, (with arches) and an aficionado of self-deprecation: “I’m an Equal Opportunities recruiter’s dream…  A minority ethnic woman with a mental health condition.” 

Self-deprecation is self sabotage – like wearing a tee saying: “Like me. I’m not scary” when you obviously look like an adorable Minion. It’s just not necessary.


From psychological tees to profiles, matrimonial websites have been a trial, beginning with dodgy or overly cerebral usernames. Caligula? Seriously, the murderous, all kinds of bad Roman Emperor? And guys’ inability to spell, and validate the idea that they DID successfully graduate with a degree and DO care about what they’re saying to a potential wife, and dubious photography.

Everyone wants a happy ending, but matrimonially, men seem insistent to lead with CREDENTIALS meaning that (although financial security is responsible) you just seem like every other banker/lawyer/doctor out there. Their tee often says either: “I don’t want to take this too seriously in case I get rejected” or “Choose me. I earned it.”  

Of course choosing is a woman’s prerogative. But a woman is not a reward. My tee jeopardised a good thing for me. It says: BIPOLAR = The reason why I expect you not to love me. Then below that, in tiny, TINY, font it says: I hope you somehow still can. Help me to believe it.


I met someone, called off going further and left the fray early because we were too alike. I saw too much bad and in him, (impulsive, doesn’t keep promises) and I didn’t feel ‘good enough’ for him. With a long term condition and this train of thought, I’d probably never be good enough. I hate this feeling because I’m often blessed with good health and I actually forget my bipolar.

I was once in a psychiatrist’s waiting room where a couple were sitting. The man and woman intermittently got chatting to another woman who discussed her meds not working and the resulting trouble.

“You know, she’s gone at me with a knife three times. Never got me.”

He said frankly, with the casual, chatty, apologetic air of someone saying: We got caught once, doing it in a restaurant bathroom. I was shocked. There are a very few people who act this way. I’ve never been violent in my life. This knife anecdote confirmed THE WORST possible stereotypes and fears. Then I realised the lesson in it.

He was still there. And she wasn’t an ‘obvious’ woman, where you know what kept him. She was just his. And it was enough. So… on balance, I have to start believing that I am enough. And write something new on that tee.

What would your tee say?

Keep scribbling,

~ Pola ~


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