Fuck off, don't touch me.

Earlier this year, we had just arrived at the beach, Ezekiel was walking about 10 steps ahead of me when I saw a very large, drunk man approach Z, he reached down and picked Z up! Ezekiel was terrified, screaming "MOM, MOM!!!!!" I was sprinting, it all happened so fast, but it was also in slow motion. I lowered my voice about 15 octaves and demanded that he put Z down immediately. I don't think this person meant to relocate or do anything malicious, but it scared Ezekiel, so automatically, this is not okay. He stumbled down the side walk and left. I made sure Ezekiel knew that every way Z reacted was perfect and that what had happened was absolutely NOT okay. It is never okay for someone to touch your body without your permission and I wanted to empower and equip Z, so never again would that fear be felt.

That's when I decided screaming the phrase "FUCK OFF, DON'T TOUCH ME" At the top of your lungs was a solution. And we practiced. And we talked about reading people's energies and looking at their intentions before they even get near you. Approaching a family with kids if you are lost? Great idea. Someone sketchy coming up to you if they think you are alone, you know how to feel that out because you are strong and capable and smart. And if ANYONE touches you without your permission and you feel unsafe, you yell right in their face and you yell until they listen because, I'm not far behind.

And it has been helpful, it has been empowering and I will forever be grateful for words that scare people and make them pay attention, because when you are small, sometimes words are all you have.

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