Just don’t do it. There is a reason you need to feel safe. A very good reason. An honourable and right and perfectly sensible reason. So, please don’t apologise.

Don’t make it a ‘thing’ for others to manipulate you. Don’t allow them to ‘guilt’ you into feeling awful.

Don’t legitimise poor conduct. Don’t succumb to behaviour that is just a different form of abuse.

Don’t submit to someone who is untrustworthy at best, and violent – and by violent I don’t just mean physically, but mentally, emotionally, financially, socially, verbally, spiritually as well – at worst.

So many don’ts!

Sometimes don’ts have more power to empower us.

But, if you do feel awful or guilty or wrong, please don’t judge yourself. You are not the one in the wrong in this situation. Yes, you are capable of being wrong; don’t get me wrong. But if you’re the only one who’s ever wrong, there’s something wrong with that.

Your desire for safety will quickly morph into a demand if your desire isn’t met, and you might meet abuse with abuse, just because you’re desperate to be safe. Unlike other ‘sins’, however, when this response is produced through a trauma-trigger, you’re not the bad guy. Unfortunately, others might be affected by what you feel, but that too isn’t really your fault, though you’re allowed to empathise with how they feel as a result of how you feel. Own how you feel and how you may have impacted them, unless they insist on manipulating this ‘wrong’. A safe person, though they may be hurt, will allow you the opportunity to repair the relationship.

Actually, that’s it. That’s all that makes sense. Empathy. For one and all. Ride out the moment. Get safe. Come back to the present. Stay safe. It’s all that matters. Safety for one, safety for all. And safety for all is the only peace that’s sustainable and worth striving for. We feel safe when we’ve made a home with empathy. Empathy is the environment of relational safety.