I am Carissa! I have always been an athletic girl. When I was a freshman in high school I tried out for the women's basketball team. Not only did I make the team, but I was also brought up to Varsity. I was very excited about the opportunity and couldn't wait to improve my skills at the varsity level. As soon as the first practice was over the excitement immediately turned into fear. The senior girls were not nice. They knew I was young and that my skills were not as developed as theirs and they took advantage. The senior girls treated me with disrespect and would run into me, trip me, push me, and shove me on purpose; because I was the under-dog. I could hear the snide remarks about me under their breath as we would practice. I hated basketball. A game that I was so thrilled about became a reason to cry. I felt discouraged and hurt. I put all my effort into practices to improve my skills so that I wouldn't be taken advantage of anymore but it was never enough. The pushing, shoving, rude remarks...they never stopped. The girls were so aggressive towards me. One memory I will never forget...it was in the last ten minutes of practice and I wanted to give up. I had the basketball and a senior defender was guarding me. I went to dribble the ball and she was so set on making me out to look like a fool (and loose the ball) that she elbowed me in the face and my tooth went through my lip. I quickly remember running to the bathroom to get paper towels for the blood. I held in my tears though, I didn't want them to think I was weak. At the end of the season I had gotten used to the bulling and never brought it up with anyone. I realize now that I should have made my coach aware of what was going on. It is not okay to be bullied.
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