Gretchen's Life and Interview by Bobby

Song: Brave by Sara Bareilles

Transcript of Gretchen's Story

BOBBY: Hi, Gretchen. It's good to see you. Thanks for agreeing to be interviewed. We're going to record this. Is that OK with you?


BOBBY: Great. Let's get started. How long have you been doing it?

GRETCHEN: 2015, I would say five years.

BOBBY: Works for you?

INTERVIEWER 2: What works for you? Who?


BOBBY: Did you pick your staff? What do you like about them?

GRETCHEN: Very, very nice and very, very helpful.

BOBBY: What do you like about self-directing?

INTERVIEWER 2: So what do you like about self-directing is what Bobby asked, or choosing your own support in therapy.

GRETCHEN: Sorry, these are hard a bit for me.


INTERVIEWER 3: Let me ask it a different way.

INTERVIEWER 2: You don't have to give an answer. You can take a minute to think about it.

INTERVIEWER 4: Go ahead, Pam. Ask it in a different way.

PAM: Gretchen, do you like-- do you like that your mom is the person that helps you?


PAM: Do you think that you would like to have somebody else help you that you don't know?

GRETCHEN: No, not really.

PAM: So why does-- why do you think it works better that it's your mom that helps you?

GRETCHEN: I feel safe.

INTERVIEWER 2: OK. But then, maybe in the future if you found somebody else or somebody along with your mom if you feel comfortable with, you might choose another person in addition to your mom.

GRETCHEN: Right, yes.

BOBBY: Sounds like you have a great life. I have one last question. Is there anything you'd like to do that you haven't yet gotten to do, you know, like a dream or something on your bucket list?

JULIE: Do you know what that means-- bucket list?

GRETCHEN: Something in the future?

PAM: Yes.

GRETCHEN: Well, my-- how to say? I'd like to move out and live in an apartment somewhere. But I'm not ready for that yet.

INTERVIEWER 2: It takes planning. Do you want Julie to leave the room?


JULIE: Is there something else that you want to do that you don't want to say in front of me? [INAUDIBLE] Or did you say it already? Is there something that you want to do that you don't want to say in front of me?

GRETCHEN: I don't.

JULIE: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER 2: So what would you like to do in five years? I asked you this question before when we were in [INAUDIBLE]. And I remember your answer.

JULIE: So when you're 31, what do you want to be doing?

INTERVIEWER 2: What do you think your life will look like?

GRETCHEN: I know I want to say, but I'm not ready for that now.


INTERVIEWER 2: You need to say it, yeah.

GRETCHEN: I think--

INTERVIEWER 2: Bobby said-- Bobby's questions was what do you dream. What's your dream?

GRETCHEN: I think I'd like to get a boyfriend sometime. But just not right now.

PAM: It's always good to wait for the right guy to come along, right?


PAM: You'll know it. You'll know it when you meet him.


BOBBY: Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

INTERVIEWER 4: What would you-- Gretchen, if you were talking to another person who was thinking about how they might want to self-direct their life, what would you tell them if they asked you what do you like about it?

JULIE: She's asking you about your life in general. What do you like about your life, like the way things are going in your life?

GRETCHEN: I like my life.


INTERVIEWER 2: So with hiring your mother as support staff, and being able to, if you want to in the future hire whoever you choose, what would you tell people about that? Pam asked the question, if somebody asked you, Gretchen, what's good about being able to hire who you want to work with you and support you.

JULIE: Why don't you ask her to phrase it in a different way?

GRETCHEN: Can you phrase it in a different way?

INTERVIEWER 2: OK. So somewhat-- if I am going to ask you, what do you like about having-- so we're going to just say staff, because your mom is staff. Right?


INTERVIEWER 2: Having staff being able to support you in your life? The person you chose, what do you like about that?

GRETCHEN: Why I like you?

INTERVIEWER 2: Yeah, why--

PAM: So Gretchen, does it just seem like it's the normal thing for you that your mom helps you? And you do whatever you need to do?


PAM: Do you think it would feel the same way if you had to hire somebody that you don't know?


INTERVIEWER 2: Well, and-- so--

GRETCHEN: I like you better.


INTERVIEWER 2: Yeah, sometimes because she still is mine, right. Did you see me wink? Because I think about Josh, he self-directs as well. Now that we know more and more, he really doesn't appreciate my support.


JULIE: You have some good support. You have [INAUDIBLE]. Yeah and we--


INTERVIEWER 2: Or met somebody else to support you, then you would want them to get to know you and those kind of things.


INTERVIEWER 2: That might be the hard part of self-directing-- finding good people.


BOBBY: Can you tell me what you like best about self-directing your services?

GRETCHEN: Think be able do I do I like.


[MUSIC - SARA BAREILLES, "BRAVE"] You can be amazing--

GRETCHEN: For fun, I am organized. I organize gatherings and to grow friendships.

[MUSIC - SARA BAREILLES, "BRAVE"] Or you can start speaking up. Nothing's going to hurt you the way that words do and they settle 'neath your skin. Kept on the inside, and no sunlight, sometimes a shadow wins. But I wonder what would happen if--

GRETCHEN: I work for Self Advocates United as 1, SA1. I work for two, two--

JULIE: Three years.

GRETCHEN: Three years. And then also, I work for an agency called Voice and Vision. I also volunteer at the retirement community.

[MUSIC - SARA BAREILLES, "BRAVE"] I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I wanna see you be brave. I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I wanna see you be brave. Everybody's been there, everybody's been stared down by the enemy. Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing. Bow down to the mighty. Don't run. Stop holding your tongue. Maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live. Maybe one of these days you can let the light in. Show me how big your brave is. Say what you wanna say and let the words fall out. Honestly I wanna see you be brave. With what you want to say. And let the words fall out. Honestly I wanna see you be brave. Innocence, your history of silence won't do you any good. Did you think it would? Let your words be anything but empty. Why don't you tell them the truth? Say what you wanna say. And let the words fall out. Honestly I wanna see you be brave. With what you wanna say and let the words fall out. Honestly I wanna see you be brave. I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I wanna see you be brave.

BOBBY: Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. It was good to see you, even if it is in a Zoom room. Stay safe.

GRETCHEN: You're welcome.

[MUSIC - SARA BAREILLES, "BRAVE"] I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I just wanna see you. I just wanna you. I just wanna see you.



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