Shaking the Toxic Leech - A Guide to Overcoming Toxic Friendships

Tuesday, May 26

By Aliyah Reese

She told me to call her a whore. 

I refused. 

She waited a second before telling me to call her a slut. I could tell her patience was running thin with me. The grasp of her negative and toxic control over me was slipping now that I was another state away and back home for summer break. 

Looking back, I might not have realized that she was gaslighting me among other things, but I remember trying to shake her off.  My so-called best friend had a gaslighting problem, a serious one at that but she hid it extremely well.  I didn't even realize that something was wrong with our relationship at first.  I thought all she wanted was to be my friend; not a toxic leech draining the life out of me. 

Some people can be toxic and dangerous and completely not healthy to be around.  It's important to know that these people are not your friends. They may act like your friends, but they are really just toxic leeches hiding in disguise. And it can be hard to shake them.  In public school, where they begin to tell you about the signs of toxic relationships its mainly pointed towards romantic partners. It’s often ingrained in media as well that toxicity from people is something you may come across with a boyfriend or girlfriend, not a friend. The friend is who you then don't expect. 

These people need to be shaken off.  They are a leech after all. Parasitic in nature, they don’t deserve to be around you and your energy.  You don’t owe them anything.  This was something I didn’t catch early on.  It was all a game to her in reality. She felt that everything was my fault and wasn’t shy about letting me know it.  Even things that happened before I even met her were of course my fault.  That summer when I came home, and she told me to call her a slut was liberating to me. That sounds a little odd, but in context this is when I began to shake my leech off. I didn’t deserve this, especially not from someone like her.  She was and is a person that thrives off of being miserable. And her miserableness was something that did not belong to my spirit as a person.

At the end of this, you’re probably thinking “I’ve heard this before.” And you are most likely correct.  But now is the time to start thinking about yourself.  In the age of this global pandemic you probably have not been around certain people that you consider to be your “friends”. You probably finished the school year online or you’ve had to work from home.  While it can be tough, not having physical contact with others might be a good thing for some of you.  Think about it.  Really think about it.  Do you feel a sense of dread from a phone call from a “friend”? Are you being told how you “messed up” someone’s life or that you are at fault for something out of your control?

Then you might want to consider shaking that toxic leech off.  Now is the time to do it.

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