The main part of the show which involved us were the interviews with Steve DiSchiavi. Steve is a great guy but a no-nonsense type of guy. He's good at his job and is professional but is also really a fund guy. I get a lot of questions about what he is like. I can honestly say the man you see on your TV every week is the man he is in real life.
Filming our interviews wasn't tough, just a little nerve-racking. There were no scripts, no rehearsals, and the only direction we were given was to "just talk about what happened and answer Steve's question." We were NEVER asked to say something that didn't happen or embellish anything.
It's tough to talk about the things that happened to us while the cameras were rolling. It made us relieve all the negative and scary things. That's not always a good thing because those were very powerful memories to talk about.
During the initial interview with Steve on our back deck, they cut filming and Steve and I were just talking. I remember him saying to me that being a father and not being able to protect my family had to be tough. I started to break down because my mind immediately shifted to a memory of Emi running terrified down the hall crying, saying she saw someone. How do I protect my family from something that doesn't fight fair and holds all the advantages? It's heartbreaking and as I said on the show, "I'm the first, last and only line of defense." I felt I was failing my family. I didn't know they started filming again so what you're seeing of me during that interview is a genuinely concerned father and husband who's at the end of rope and feeling helpless.
Steve and I moved into the kitchen and I told him the things that happened there. The knife flying off the counter and cutting my arm (still have a nice scar from that too) and the video of the drawer. I was reluctant to use the video because of the naysayers, but they convinced to do it. The first time Steve saw the video was during the filming as it was decided earlier in the day to use it. The video that you see on the show is NOT the entire video and I only started filming after things were happening. You can see the entire video and read the entire story behind it in the blog entry The Storm Intensifies.
The next part of the interview involved us going down into the basement. I admit that I was scared to go back down there because of everything that happened to me there. To me, the basement was the epicenter of evil and all our problems. No one would be able to protect me if anything were to happen and it took awhile before I could muster up the courage to go down there. I remember Steve say, "It's pretty obvious this space bothers you." I didn't realize until we watched the show that my fear of the basement was written all over my face.
I still get a lot of question regarding my interview with Steve as well as reading comments on social media because most people thought Steve was too hard on me. They ask if it upset or bothered me. The answer I tell people is, "no, not in the least little bit." As I said earlier, there were not scripts, it was us just talking and Steve doing what he does best. I expected him to be hard on me and, frankly, I respect him for being the way he was. That's his job. It's what he did while he was a homicide detective. Get the truth out of someone, find out the real reasons for why something happened. I was raised by a Chief Master Sargent who was career military. My dad was a man I respected and was a whiskey drinking, cigar smoking bad ass who didn't put up with bullshit. So dealing with Steve was a walk in the park compared to that.
No one in the family was allowed to watch each other’s interviews. The producers didn't want anything that would tip the other person off as to what direction their interview would go or what questions would be asked.
Jennifer and the girls were up next.