Mostly because it was going to be the first time I was interviewing - or even meeting - some people I did not know or had even met before. This felt so daunting in the morning, and it is in these moments where I start to doubt my abilities.
This is part of the hidden struggles with my own brain injury. As it turns out though, as soon as I got talking it was all okay.
Amy and I have fallen into a rhythm of working together already, which is lovely because not many married couples get the chance to work together like this. She tends to welcome each brain injury survivor into the room and does what she does best - talk to people. Amy explains the project further and makes them feel calm and relaxed - which is so important to us, as the topics we are asking about are sensitive and personal. Once Amy has finished, she then hands over to me and I start the interview.
We start each interview with a sound check, but this is also an opportunity to break the ice a little and help everyone feel at ease. Often this is just me asking a simple question of how did you get here today?
Although we have only completed two days so far, Amy and I are already learning so much about each other and more so about how my injury is still affecting me. I have a notebook in front of me with the four questions written on, but I have to admit I have started to ask the wrong question quite a few times and Amy has had to stop me and remind me I am actually on question three - and not number four! To tackle this Amy has positioned herself perfectly behind the person I am interviewing in my view so she can give me hand signals to help me ask the correct questions - but don’t worry she doesn’t make any rude gestures and usually all this involves is waving three fingers up at me.
Having listened back to the interviews we have already completed, I have also seen as well that at times I have asked questions but the answer has already been given in a previous question. Thankfully all the people we have interviewed have been understanding with us and have just repeated what they have already said, which is lovely of them.
One thing I have had to deal with is my own emotions. I have struggled at times to hold them in while interviewing someone because every single story we have heard has been absolutley amazing to hear. It does just show me though what we are attempting to do is going to help so many people. But even if it only helps one person, it will be more than worth it.