As I was cleaning up my room I found a box of things that are special to me, and in that box, I found my favorite gift that I’ve ever received.

It was for my 35th birthday and my best friend had written a letter to me, listing 35 memories that we had shared together in the 17 years we’d been best friends. We were in college together and lived together as roommates for 2 years.

The reason why this letter was my favorite gift ever was not only the intimacy of having been close to someone for that long, but that our memories together had stuck in her mind and she took the time to write them out in an effort to show how much she cared. And it worked.

This post is mostly for me because I just want to have a place to keep her letter if ever I lose it. I have changed the names of actual people for privacy. I’ve made comments in brackets.

“Dear Quixie! Happy 35th Birthday! In honor of your 35 years here on Earth I wanted to share my top 35 memories of you/35 things we’ve done that have made me laugh! Please excuse my spelling!

  1. Felicity! [the 90s teen drama] Ben vs. Nole…
  2. Sharing speach class [she really was a horrible speller, I’m keeping her misspellings]
  3. Folding bulitins at Cypress [our college church group]
  4. Driving with you to Virginia – thank you! I was so scared to move & you came with me!
  5. The time at UCF [University of Central Florida in Orlando] when Cleofus [her cat] escaped & then came back & you didn’t even notice! The only reason I knew she’d been outside was because there were plants attached to her!
  6. Sydney Bristow – that show was so bad! [She’s referring to ‘Alias,’ which I loved]
  7. Carnival cruise to Mexico! I still have a photo of you standing with me by the Mexican police!
  8. Late night trips to Wendy’s for spicy chicken sandwiches – back then they were only a seasonal item so we would stock up on them!
  9. Dying our hair together – I had to pay for color correction!
  10. Painting the living room of my town house mustard – hating the color & repainting it yellow!
  11. Painting your room in college – we spent months on that – then had to paint all the rooms back!
  12. Going with you to Calvary  – we would people watch all the Brazilian girls & marvel at their rocking bodies and fashion sence! [Calvary Chapel was the megachurch in Fort Lauderdale, FL with the disgraced pastor, Boy Coy]
  13. Going with you & Damian to Universal Studios!
  14. Lengthy discussions about the mythology of “My Little Pony.”
  15. Going swimming in Hollywood Beach [south Florida]
  16. Leadership Training – that actually really sucked but I’m glad to have done it with you! [Great Commission Ministries had this summer event for college kids where you lived with other potential leaders in the church and went through full-time brainwashing]
  17. Cypress [our college church] – overall sucked, but still glad I was with you!
  18. Breaking up with Jeremy – you were there for me 😦 I was so sad & you were so encouraging!
  19. Teaching Alexa to say “Daddy, I saw you at Smoke Buddy!” [I do not remember what this was about, tbh]
  20. New Year’s Eve with Mark & Logan – we stayed up all night!
  21. Hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains [in Charlottesville, VA]
  22. Going to the drive-in with you & Mark in south Florida.
  23. Deep discussions about Don & Better Draper [from the show ‘Mad Men’] – you still need to see the last season!
  24. Eating sushi at Kobe with White Sauce [we really liked the sauce and ate too much of it]
  25. Walking around Lake Eola [in Orlando, FL]
  26. Dawson’s Creek [she was a fan of the show, I was most definitely not]
  27. Pacy! [from Dawson’s Creek] Is that how you spell his name? I had a crush on him & you got me a postcard with his photo!
  28. Driving from Charlottesville to Baltimore for crab cakes!
  29. Drinking drinks laced with dinosaurs [there is a pub in Oregon that puts cute little figurine dinosaurs on the sides of the glasses for cocktails]
  30. Phone calls long enough I had to pee three times! [she really did – and she took the phone into the bathroom and I didn’t even care. LOL]
  31. Your wisdom about motherhood – so often I fear I’m doing it wrong but you always encourage me that I’m not that far off base.
  32. Visiting you in Columbus [Ohio]. I lost my phone & credit card! You had such a cute house & I got to meet Simon! [my son who was only a couple months old at the time]
  33. Spending hours with you listening to Sara Groves [see my recent posts here and here on her music]
  34. Rotten potatoes in the kitchen!
  35. Hiking with you at Silver Falls [in Oregon]…I had to poop so bad! [yes, we talked about bodily functions a lot – LOL] I knew that even if I pooped in the woods you would still be my best friend & would never use it against me! [she’s was right]

I love you Quixie!

Love, Cindy”

We had some great memories. 17 years, 2 countries, 5 states, 6 cities.

Sadly, I have not talked to Cindy in four years. A few months after this letter I deconverted and, from my perspective, she blamed my deconversion on my mental illness and, as she was a psychiatric nurse practitioner, this screwed with my head.

She also thought I was mad at God because my marriage wasn’t working. When I tried confronting her on this she told me I was too sensitive.

As a Christian, she could not fathom the idea that my faith no longer made sense to me. She had always called me her spiritual mentor and yet she no longer trusted me. I’ve been just about to contact her over a dozen times in the last four and yet I can’t make myself do it.  This is one of the very few things that could have ruined our friendship.

I miss her.

4 thoughts on “

  1. I read this post and then almost die when I got to the end…it floored me when you said she was a psych nurse and blamed your deconversion on mental illness. As you know, I was also a psych nurse for over a decade and worked on an inpatient hospital ward. I was religious at the time I was practicing, and on occasion encouraged people to stay in their faith because so many people found it a helpful coping mechanism (yes, I’m ashamed of that). But blaming deconversion on mental illness is so fucking crazy, if you had been a paying client it would have been malpractice! It’s like gas-lighting mentally ill people! And for the record, I’d like to say that the majority of people who have severe psych symptoms (such as psychosis) manifest delusional HYPER religiosity…this symptom is so prevalent it’s listed in the DSM IV as one of the symptoms of psychosis. Nowhere in the DSM-IV does it list atheism or loss of faith as a symptom of mental illness. No. Where.

    Honestly, I think this is even worse than my priest telling me my disabled infant son was demon possessed….priests are quacks in a cult. Your friend was a trained psych practitioner…you were not her patient, but still, she should have known better. I’m sorry someone you loved and cared for, for a very long time, did this to you. This woman can not be trusted to be your friend now and you’ve been wise to stay away. I too have been tempted to contact some of my former religious friends, who shunned me when I deconverted, but I have the same feeling as you do…bringing them back in my life will only allow them to abuse me, and I’m done with that shit. Here’s to both of us moving forward and NOT going backward!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s been so long that sometimes I wonder if I am remembering correctly. To be fair fo her maybe she wasn’t blaming my deconversion on my mental illness and maybe I always think of it that way due to being hurt. I think it may be more accurate to say she blamed my deconversion on my swinging the other direction on the pedulum, from the radical belief that God would savee my marriage to my losing faith that God wasn’t. What she fails to remember is that we shared the same brand of Christianity in which God was supposed to intervene, she just had became a more progressive Christian over time whereas I had continued in our beliefs until I lost my faith. Anyway, I think you are right that I should be weary and stay away. Still really sucks to lose a friend. But yes -you got it right, girl: forward, not backwards!

      Liked by 1 person

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About Quixie

Hi! I go by "Quixie." Quixie is a shortened version of "quixotic," which means: "exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical." It's how I described my evangelical Christian faith when I started blogging 5 years ago. Now I'm an agnostic atheist who is trying to find a balance between idealism and reality. I write primarily about my mental health journey (I have bipolar disorder), and I also discuss my deconversion, mindfulness, exercise, music, reading, and other cultural topics.