I just wrote a midterm paper, for my Conflict and Negotiation class, on a conflict that I have experienced and the different ways that it could have been resolved. The only one that I could think of- the one that is drilled in my memory very vividly, is the friendships that I shared with my ex-best friend.

We lived together for two years and it was not at all what I imagined living with your best friend was supposed to be like. I slowly started to not enjoy coming home. I had to lock my door, even if I was just in bed because she would always barge in unannounced and wanting attention.

I felt her suffocating and smothering me with unrequited attention, as she would cling on to me as her only friend. I was not used to this behavior and I figured that it might just be the way she is. I tried with everything inside of me, to try to be there for her and to be a good friend. To me, it looked like she needed a friend and maybe, I needed one too. Even though, the red flags were plastered everywhere around me.

I was mentally and emotionally exhausted from our friendship. I felt that I was consistently walking on eggshells. Walking away from her was the best decision I ever made. I had never felt so relieved in my life. My spirit felt as light as a feather. Her negativity consistently wore me out and I practically allowed myself to hold a weight on my shoulders over trying to become her friend.

It was never worth the heartache trying to save what was left of our friendship, at that point in time. I was so shocked and overwhelmed during and after the end because I had just realized how she was manipulative, toxic, emotionally abusive, and narcissistic she was.

She disrespected my lifestyle, loved ones, and beliefs. I figured that if she was any kind of "friend" to me, then there was no reason for her to treat me like this. I always asked God why she was brought into my life if she did no good to me. Then, I realized something. She brought me the gift of learning- about what a good friend and a bad friend look like.

Ending our friendship was almost like breaking up with that boyfriend that keeps telling you how sorry he is and how much he loves you, but he still does the same thing over and over again. Well, as with all breakups, I felt that I had a "glow-up," since we went our separate way. The same month, I was awarded the highest academic scholarship at my university, traveled to Europe, and became a part of this wonderful Odyssey community.

A friend of mine informed me that she had told someone that I was "holding her back" and I could not help but crack a smile on my face from the irony. I say smiling because for so long I allowed myself to become her personal punching bag and she could never do one kind, genuine act for me. Treating me to Disneyland tickets, expensive dinner and clothes, and waving an all-access pass to an elite resort and a plane ticket to the Bahamas in front of my face was what she equated to being a good friend. She would constantly remind me of how she did all of this for me, but I never understood why. That stuff did not matter to me in the slightest, at all.

I do believe that she could still be a good person and a friend to someone. I think about her often and I do wish her the best.

But, hey, thanks for showing me exactly how a friend shouldn't be.