Don’t Swim Alone – 28/52 Ways to Stop Pedophiles
After reading Take the Plunge – 27/52 Ways to Stop Pedophiles, Jeff Stuart contacted Vagilantes about his experience of being sexually abused when he was a boy. He tells us more about his odyssey of reconnecting with Todd Mozzer, building a friendship, then swimming the Connecticut River together to help stop pedophiles.
Jeff’s touching statement of truth appears here and will also be posted in Vagilantes Press.
In his heartfelt words:
My best friend in the universe took some advice from me recently, then some months later, swam down the Ct. River in response to the horror of what happened to him. And me.
I followed him stroke for stroke in honor of friendship, but most importantly in response to his act of heroism. Some part of it was selfish – for I’ve been searching for a way to heal from my Trauma of childhood sexual abuse. I was left with no choice but to follow this deepest friend of mine, Mr. Todd Mozzer.
Please continue to read Jeff’s message to the world:
My name is Jeff Stuart. I love swimming. I’m debating if I love coaching more, except after last weekend’s Odyssey in the Connecticut River, the gig is up. It’s Coaching.
I was born from a womb of warm watery fluid. By the ripe age of 2 weeks I was swimming. On my own.
By the tender age of 11, I was a champion swimmer and a fine specimen of young athletic boyhood. It was then that he came. My abuser. Mr. X was the principal of the Jr. High I attended.
He got me in the shower. Then he took me in his car. By the age of 14 he had me in his home, my home, his office, the gym locker room, and even in Tahiti – on a trip That my parents let me go on @ the age of 16.
THEY WERE NOT AWARE.
He is still around @ 94 years old, but now he’s registered as a sex offender. Thanx to you know who. Yup. I went to an attorney after coming clear of the first vestiges of healing. Since then at least 4 more men have come forward. For me it was as if the hasp of a lock at a gate had clicked open. It was the beginning of the floodgate.
When I was in Connecticut State Penitentiary, due to drug and alcohol addiction, some 8 years ago, I chose Native American Circle for my choice of worship. In the circle, after the smudging ceremony, The Elder coined me “DOLPHIN BOY.” He had never seen me before.
Since then I have attained elite status in my field of open H20 swimming. Swimming is the primary reason I survived. Because of this gift I was given, I absolutely must share it.
31 years ago, after a debauched berth on the US Olympic Team, I began giving it away. By coaching, I could at least absolve myself of some of the inner turmoil, shame and guilt of my twisted social sexual persona. I drank, smoked, ingested hallucinogens, and on and on. But coaching set me free, cuz it was pure, and it was good, and I was good at it.
18 years later I became friendly with a man who was swimming in the CT River for a cause to clean up the river. I was high on crack cocaine, so never really connected, just swam with the man. 12 years after that I that man again, and we became friendlier. He came seeking help with his swimming.
I remember like it was 10 minutes ago what he said, “WOW, you’re hurtin’ man! I’m Todd, remember me?”
“Not exactly, Todd, but you seem familiar.” (Remember, I had ingested nearly every drug and booze known to man.)
“That’s funny,” he said. “We were together in the boat and in the river for the clean the river project a long time ago.”
Within moments we became tentatively friendly and connected. What I know is that I was happy at the time. Over 7 years of sobriety, 3+ years clean of drugs, and back in the fold of continuing my calling of swim coaching. After all that’s why he was here at the lake – no fishin’ pole, nor kayak.
Todd Mozzer is a man of patient, deep, nonjudgemental qualities. What he saw in my face that day was creases and cracks of guilt. He gazed into the eyes of shame. He was witnessing the struggle within a wounded warrior. A warrior victim of childhood sexual trauma.
We talked more and more, until one day he tilted his head in that Todd Mozzer signature way – gazing at sky, and water and infinity all at once. He spoke clearly if not hesitantly about his growing up. Then the gate creaked open. My rekindled friend told his REAL story. Within that hour we shared our mutual feelings of social and mental and emotional genocide. The gate began leaking and trickling.
It has been nearly 2 years since that day. I have done my very best with Todd to make him aware of the variables that can occur on any given day in the river. My main man Todd Mozzer had trained well and prepared for all his needs on this Quest.
This past weekend we experienced a profound and life changing flood. At the gate.
After completing mile after mile of joyous, turbulent, twisting, turning, warm, cool, placid, choppy, whitecaps, boat clogged, silty, semi salty, clear, CT river water, the Honorable Mr. Todd Mozzer and myself touched down at the mouth of our mother of a river and wept.
We wept for the children who never had a voice. We cried for one another in the joy of completion. We sobbed inside at all the suffering around us in the world at that very moment when some little innocent boy or girl was being taken away from themselves. We were weeping at the thought that it was not enough. Not enough to stop it. We glazed over in anticipation of the next adventure to plan for as we stepped onto hard pavement.
At that moment, I am clear about one thing: The floodgates had been forced wide open as our tears blended with the murky river water at our feet.
The gate is our ability to see.
The gate is a profound sense of knowing.
The gate is an undeniable realm of consciousness.
The gate is a brilliant vision of awareness.
The gate is the beginning of a flow of information and knowledge and understanding, that no longer can be denied or stopped.
The gate is the river – flowing powerful and strong to bring the insanity to an end.
The gate is a valve to help anyone who is present to see the darkness which surrounds us.
The gate is an avenue towards the light.
The gate will be the thing which can suppress the evil of childhood sexual trauma and abuse on our planet.
The gate flows from the darkness and into the light.
Darkness to Light.
My gratitude comes through the heart and soul of one man – Mr. Todd Mozzer.
My Thanx are UNFATHOMABLE!
Jeff Stuart 7/4/13
Vagilantes knows how strong a man must be to open his heart and his life this way. Clearly, the pedophile who tried to steal his spirit so many years ago has failed. More power to you, Jeff.