By Olivia Johnson
If you’re reading this you know who you are. I don’t need to address you by name. I don’t think that is right for me to publicize your personal information like that. It would be legally and morally wrong. And NO this isn’t a letter to your son that assulted me. This is a letter to you, the caregivers
7 years has passed since that horrible night. A night that has been ingrained in my mind for the past 7 years. The night your son sexually assulted me. What happened that night is not something you can “just get over” or “pretend it didn’t happen” but god do I wish it never happened.
I have gone over that night an unbearable amount of times. Thinking about all the countless different ways I could have changed the outcome. Which sounds ridiculous because I had NO power to change the motives of your son who assulted me. It wasn’t MY fault. Although when I took him to court the defense tried to tell me it was my fault..that I was “obsessed” with him..I can count on ONE hand the amount of times I had previously BRIEFLY had any communication with him. I barely knew him! And if was up to me he would have had NOTHING to do with my life but that changed the night HE decided to sexually assult me. Only after that night has he contaminated my mind. I am disgusted and repulsed by him. And NO (defense lawyer) this did not happen because of the clothes I chose to wear when I was 15. NO i did not “make it up” and NO my sleeping pills did not cause me to “fabricate a story”. NO my past mental health issues did not cause me to “create this story” in my mind. I am not as crazy as the defense made me out to be.
Back to you, the caregivers. You were my favorite caregivers. I loved being around you. You’d call me your “favorite girl” I was so happy when I was with you. I could truly be myself. Your house was my “home away from home”. A place I felt safe and secure. You were a funny, entertaining couple who from day one I just “clicked with”.You ate my favorite foods, and drunk my favorite drinks and you always made sure to have my favorite things in the cupboard for when I came over. I loved you guys. I am an EXTREMELY sentimental person but remember when I gave my favorite childhood toys to your granddaughter so she’d have toys to play with? Those toys meant the world to me but I was willing to give them to her because I valued you guys and wanted to make her happy.
Remember that time I heard you say “I check her nappy” (referring to your toddler granddaughter aka the daughter of your son who sexually assulted me) to “make sure he hasn’t toto(ed) with her” and when I asked what “toto(ed)” meant you replied “touched”. You were already SUSPICIOUS.
W H Y would you be even remotely shocked when I came foward and told the police that he sexually assaulted me..you had your suspicions..what happened to me just CONFIRMED them.
Let’s say the defense was correct(they weren’t) but let’s just say I did “fabricate this story”…what exactly would my motive be? What exactly would I have been gaining?
The answer is simple.
N O T H I N G.
Doesn’t that mean anything to you? Doesn’t that make you think “oh maybe she did tell the truth”.
I gained nothing but lost so much. I lost my favorite caregivers. I lost my home away from home. I lost the people who made me laugh, the people who I could be myself around. I lost you. And more importantly I lost control. I lost my 15 year old self. I lost my sense of trust. I lost me.
Despite thinking of myself I thought of you. When I told someone what had happened I defended you and said it wasn’t your fault. I never attacked or blamed you if anything I did the opposite I defended you from day one. 7 years later I still don’t have hatred for you. I hate and dispize your son but I do not hate you. Because it wasn’t you who touched me.
Once upon a time I was your favorite girl..then that night happened and from the moment you found out I was a disgrace in your eyes as you stood by your son. You chose him over me. I know that blood is thicker than water but by you supporting him you are telling him that what he did was OK and (I hope to god this doesn’t happen again) but what if it does? What if it’s already been done to your granddaughter…that same granddaughter you were worried about..will she end up like me and become a disgrace to you too?
For years I have wanted nothing but to talk to you, to explain to you every detail and to just have you hear me out. Because in my mind if you just listened to what happened from me directly maybe you would believe me and see the ugly, disgusting, smart, cunning monster that your son is.
I’ve spent a long time trying to understand why you made the decision to support your son. I can only speculate..maybe you know what happened to me and you know it’s true but you don’t want to believe it, maybe by you believing it it would cause too much pain maybe it’s easier for you to just pretend it didn’t happen and just pretend I was some “mentally ill foster kid that made a story up”. Writing that sentence breaks me heart because you of all people knew the type of person I was. Notice I used past tense because you have no idea of the person I’ve become.
I was a teenager when the police took him to court on my behalf. I was a teenager when I gave my testimony to the court room. I fought for myself and spoke honestly. I was articulate and when I left the court building that day do you know how I felt? Amazing! I spoke my truth while being doubted and nit picked on every tiny detail by the defense. But I stood my ground. The verdict didn’t matter to me. I knew in my heart i spoke the truth that day and I’ll forever be able to live with myself because I don’t have guilt of lying in a court room.
I fought for not only myself but also for anyone else who has been a victim of sexual assault or for anyone else that may become a victim due to your son assaulting them -past, present, future.
Although I felt amazing after the two court cases. Reality of life after a traumatic sexual assault slowly began to cause devastation on my life. But now years later I have been receiving help for it. I am starting to think of me and putting MYSELF first NOT you. I am starting to see my life again. And starting to LIVE life again. Because for the past 7 years I’ve lived in fear.
Despite being burdened by what happened that night seven years ago along with the PTSD that has come with it..I have grown and changed so much as a person. I have overcome things that I didn’t think I’d be able to cope with-but I have. I am not where I want to be but neither am I where I used to be. So much has changed but one thing that has remained the same is the painful memory of that night and the two court cases that followed. I am a work in progress. One day I hope that memory is a little less painful. One day I hope it has a little bit less power and control of my mind. One day I hope it becomes a distinct memory one that does not bring tears, greif and heart ache. Ultimately I hope one day that night means nothing to me..that him, you and your family mean nothing to me. No more pain. No more hurt. All I want to be is left with is a peaceful mind where you and your family play no part in. One day I will overcome the devastation of that horrible night.
Tonight 15/5/2017 marks seven years. Today seven years later I tell my story.
As I said in the beginning. To you, the caregivers. All these years have passed. I hope you understand the gravity of this situation. I hope you question that night and this helps put the pieces of the puzzle together. I wish you well although I believe you don’t wish the same to me. I hope you know what happened that night DID happened- whether right now you believe it or not I hope one day you see the truth. I don’t believe you directly are bad people and I don’t wish harm on you.
Although this letter isn’t written to your son. I hope he remembers that night for the rest of his life and I hope that the guilt of him lying eats away at him. He was an adult I was 15. What he did was sick, disgusting and horrible. He is a disgusting human being but he made his bed. Time for him to lay in it.
To this day i still suffer from the traumatic events that happened 7 years ago. But I am doing well, considering. I still fight for the truth of that night. I fight for my freedom from the PTSD that remains long after the assult. I fight to be heard. I fight to be taken seriously and not labeled as “mentally ill” and have my story disregarded or have my mental health used against me. I refuse to “keep quiet” in order to make others comfortable.
[To anyone who knows this family. Don’t contact them. Don’t harass or attack them. If they read this then so be it if they don’t it doesn’t matter. I wrote this because it’s what I’ve wanted to say to them. I’ve said what I wanted. It’s done]
-From Olivia, your ex foster kid.