I said, I have to get out of here. I saw my friend [Bernadette], she was in [the unit] with me. She got to move out on her own, in a house on her own. I said, that’s what I want.
I used to go up to [the institution] every day after work, I was telling [the manager in charge], ‘I have to move out, I want to move out’.
My family didn’t let it happen for a long time, though, they were dead set against it. They didn’t think I’d be able to do it, living on my own.
In the end, [a support worker] came down with me to [the family home] and I told my sister: ‘That’s it, I’m moving out, I need my own space.’ And so they said: ‘Well, alright then Cathy.’
I went and viewed apartments myself, with [the support worker] and my younger sister. I saw this apartment and I said: yes, this is the one.
I have my own balcony, with a few plants, and I can see over to the river from the balcony. I have a spare room, and my sisters come and stay. My name is on the lease, and if I have any problems, the landlord comes, no hassle.
I go to work from 10.00-14.00, three days a week, but I get the bus so I’m out from 8.30 to 4.00.
I go to the local day service on Wednesday mornings, and I’m into all the community activities here, the youth club, the ladies’ group.
The neighbours are friendly, they called over when I first arrived, to see if I was ok.
I don’t mind being here on my own in the evenings, I’m tired, I’ll watch a bit of telly. I don’t stay here on my own on the weekends, though, it might be a bit lonely.
So every second weekend, I go to [her care worker]’s house, she lives with her partner on a farm. Every other weekend, I go and stay with my friend [Bernadette] in [town]. There’s no staff there, just the two of us for the weekend.
What else do I need in my life? Nothing, I’m happy the way I am.