Woke up in a cold panic last night. The conference in NYC is a week away, and at the last minute, I got up my courage and signed up for the Mike Lew event. Now itís hitting me that Iím terrifiedóWhat if I canít cope? (I canít read the manís book for more than five minutes at a time. What was I thinking?) What if my defenses come crashing down? What if I open up all those hidden feelings and then have to go to work on Monday? How will I deal with my father when I visit the following week, or my mother when we take a trip together at the end of the year? Itís so easy to be brave and eloquent on a message board. But when itís me in a room with other survivors?

I know I canít move forward until I get past the need to keep shutting it all down. I know that it doesnít have to be like the last time I tried to deal with this stuff (I have a life now, for one thing, and didnít then) Ė I donít have to go nuts, get depressed, get obsessed, and fall apart. I need to trust that Iím dealing with this now because Iím ready to cope with it. And back off if it feels overwhelming.

But Iím scared. I could use a word of reassurance.

(Wandering blindly into the Memory Vault, and hoping the door doesnít lock behind me.)