Fans of Bachelor Nation will recognize fan-favorite Mike Johnson’s signature smile from his time on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise. Yet, the Air Force veteran reveals a new side of himself in his self-published debut book Making the Love You Want.
In the book’s introduction, Johnson opens up about sexual assault at the hands of his babysitter. He would describe the experience as “emotionally and mentally catastrophic to me.”
He describes the assault, writing, “When I was five, we lived in Germany, and my babysitter sexually assaulted me. My memories of fighting her off me and exploding out the front door to get away are still vivid.”
In the aftermath of the assault, Johnson did not tell anyone. The experience made him question his masculinity, asking himself “Why would I fight her off if I’m attracted to women?” despite acknowledging the assault should “never happen to any child.”
Johnson would go on to describe self-love’s impact on overcoming emotional wounds. He wrote, “Self-love isn’t something anyone else can give you. But when you’ve discovered the path, you’ll find you want to share it with others. That’s what happened to me. And that’s the purpose of this book.”
Johnson spoke with Heavy about opening up while writing his new book.
He Was Apprehensive to Share His Assault for His Mother’s Sake
Johnson was apprehensive to share his childhood assault because of how it would make others feel.
“I didn’t want someone to feel a certain type of way without understanding the full story,” he said. The reality star was concerned for how his mother would feel, “I didn’t want my mom to feel as if she wasn’t a good mom. She was a great mother. I was more so apprehensive for my mother’s sake than my own.”
Viewers will remember Johnson’s adoration for his mother from his time as one of Hannah Brown’s suitors, often referring to her as a “queen.” Approximately two weeks before the book was released, Johnson discussed the assault with her and other family members for the first time.
“That is what my book teaches you is how to have those courageous conversations,” said Johnson. He added, “For me, I practice what I preach and I had to have those courageous conversations with my mother, my father, my grandmother, my sister and so it was nerve-wracking yes. But, through the end of our conversation we, our relationship grew that much closer.”
He Shared His Assault to Enable Others to Share the Hard Things in Their Life
Making the Love You Want is “a tool to help you in any circumstance overcome that issue.” Johnson believes readers will be surprised by “the fact that just how bold I am in my transparency quite honestly.”
“It’s more of an if I can do it, you can too type of thing,” Johnson said. He continued, “You know if I’m able to discuss things that I have discussed and within my book, I feel that I am enabling someone else the power to do it as well and I give them the exact tools to do it. So it’s definitely a weight off of one’s shoulders when you’re able to release some really hard things within your life.”