This was hard to read, mostly because I relate to it on a much smaller scale. I often hid in the library during lunch to avoid the uncomfortable search for a place to sit at a table, where sitting alone somehow made you even more visible to people.
I find your story also applies to break ups I’ve had, at least in the positive ways. There was a guy when I was in grad school that really truly broke me when he dumped me. Let’s call him Michael Carroll. Because that was the asshat’s name. We’d been together almost a year and had a very strong relationship, or at least I thought so. It wasn’t for three or four more years after the very harsh dumping, when I met my now husband, that I realized if that asshat faux-artist dick hadn’t dumped me in my lowest moment, I never would have met the love of my life and I never would have the kind of life that makes me so happy.
In the end, I think the bad people primarily serve to make room for the good ones. At least if you’re lucky. I will say that I haven’t grown enough in maturity to wish him the best and hold no ill will. I still hate that immature fake artist dickweed and don’t wish him anything good in life, but every year I grow up I feel those feelings a little less. I think one day I’ll be able to forgive him and stop dwelling on the hurt and start further embracing the people that love me now. I’m very happily married now, and my goal is to finally give up this petty hatred and just bask in the love of my amazing husband.