I’ve had multiple people comment on my composure in the video interviews of my father. To prepare for the interviews, I anticipated all the ways that my composure could affect him, and I made a conscious effort to remain calm and poised. I wanted my father’s responses to not be influenced by my tone of voice or reaction. I needed him to feel free of any judgment and feelings from me, in order to get him to respond truthfully and honestly. I needed to show no reaction from his words or thoughts, no matter how shocking or disturbing they were, so his truest feelings could be revealed.
When I had asked him previously to be audio-recorded, he showed no hesitation. Getting him on video turned out to be a different story. I had the videographer set up his equipment in the kitchen area, so he was out of sight, and we had only two small cameras on each one of us in the room. The setup made it easy to forget that it was being recorded.
I felt sick to my stomach and in complete disgust of what he was saying, however, each statement he made, intrigued me more to continue to learn his thought process.
Although I had mentally prepared myself for the interview, I was incredibly shocked and at times in complete disbelief at what he was saying. I found it hard at certain points to stay composed, but I reminded myself to stay calm. At points, his honesty was brutal. I felt sick to my stomach and in complete disgust of what he was saying, however, each statement he made, intrigued me more to continue to learn his thought process. As the interviews progressed, I found it more challenging to be neutral and non-reactive when I heard his words.
After each interview, I would process it by playing the video back for my husband. We spoke very few words as we watched the videos, but we exchanged lots of looks of disbelief. The most helpful thing my husband did was to hold me, most of the time with no words, but we would stay there until I felt grounded again.
The entire interview experience was so surreal, and I felt completely emotionally exhausted for days. Sometimes the emotional exhaustion lasted for weeks afterwards. It’s still hard to believe that that my father disclosed the thoughts and feelings that he did, but it is equally disturbing to come to terms with the person he revealed himself to be.