A Step Back
Available January 2021:
Introduction from A Step Back by Amy Jean
As I step back to try and collect all the places I have been, things I have done, where I failed, where I excelled, the joy I felt, and the joy I brought to others, I am beginning to understand that I was rarely ever fully present. My mind was racing to calculate trajectories, collect people and memories, and lifetimes lost in an attempt to find life. Or maybe save life. I’m not entirely sure.
I had a lucid dream recently where I was running through a large warehouse that was crumbling, and I turned to glance back and saw fire everywhere. Warriors with long tubes that threw flames ran towards me to avoid falling in the fire with the crumbling building. They were destroying everything in their wake. I could see body parts flying, and literally, every single thing behind me incinerating. I took a right turn down a hallway and then a quick left. The warriors ran right past me. I’m not sure how I escaped. Maybe it was just a dream, but it felt real.
Over the past seven years (almost eight now), I have prayed every night as I got in bed not to wake up the next morning. I want to die like my dad did—fast, in my sleep, at 52. Well, that was last year, but pain-free is my goal. The emotional cage I have been held in for years on end, combined with my entire life being reduced to a puzzle in a brutal game, has me contemplating whether it might have been better to step in front of the flame throwers, assuming they were real. I know that sounds morbid, but it’s my truth. A quick death seems better than long, painful suffering before dying, whether the hell is physical pain or emotional torture. I am enduring both now for eight years—more emotional torture than physical pain. As the vomiting, physical pain, and suffering subsided, the emotional torment escalated.
It is a stretch for me to remember a non-synthetic conversation, a smile that isn’t fake, holding me prisoner, a promise kept, a truth that doesn’t turn into a lie, a moment of pure joy, or a day without loneliness. The magnificent visions I see haven’t come to fruition. I am starting to believe that they are lies to hold me caged so others can play a game that covers me in shame. I pray that I will either die in my sleep or that someone will wake me up and tell me I’m mistaken—you simply dreamed way too long, silly Woman. Nothing you are seeing or understanding is true or real. Now that would be awesome—A dream come true.
Do dreams come true?
I dreamed a dream
where I made an escape
I was fearless and brave
and freed every slave
We rejoiced and sang
and found peace in our day.
Sample Pages from A Step Back
Click on each spread to enlarge