Amber Dawn Peterson
Interviewer : First off Amber, as I told you this is all about your video piece, and it’s about talking with you so that we can have an interview with you before we see your piece, so I’d like to start off by just having you tell me about the video piece, what’s it about, what are the viewers going to see?
Amber : Well the viewers are going to see that um that the experience kinda the experiences sorta like from being bad and good. Um, like like with my my nephew, like my relationship with people around me and some of it’s going to based on like some of the really dramatic parts of my exp life that are like the most important, going through Artec and stuff like that, all the hard times and like the problems I went through.
So why did you decide it’s in a it’s in a um music, it’s um a song that you’ve written, do you want to say that? That it’s a song that you’ve written and why you decided to do it with music?
Yeah it, yeah it’s it’s a song um I put it that way cuz I think music expresses a lot that words really don’t really describe that much, like words don’t really say a lot, but like music kinda reaches out to people and it kind of helps them understand what what people go through with out actually having to have someone explain it to em, it’s like a shorter way to explain the point.
So um, your words though in the piece really are very important though.
Yeah, it kinda, the words themselves describe, describe a person going through hard times towards the beginning of their experience and working to make it better, like realizing it’s not up to other people opinion it’s really the person ma, your opinion like the person themselves their opinion of themselves not what other people think and stuff, it’s talking about me realizing this and like going through all this hard time trying to be accepted by everyone and nobody wanting to accept me and stuff and I kinda have people accept me by me accepting myself.
Will you tell me, would you say the lyrics, just the whole lyrics when you start out the further and further?
Yeah would you rather me say each of the verses? Oh, it goes, Oh the Further and further you go means the further and further you fly, Wha, h God, I keep forgetting, Yes Please, When you’re trying, there we go, I got it, I have to remember the first part of that, okay, okay, here goes, ya, the further and further you go means the further and further you fly, Oh God, I hate this, I’m crazy. Kay, I have to kinda sing it in my head for a second, So Kay now here I go so it goes Oh when your trying to help the world it’s showin the world who you are, that’s the rest of it. Oh the Further and further you go means the further and further you fly when your trying to help the world it’s showin the world who you are, and that’s one of them and I think the last chorus is the most important as much as those ones and so it’s just Oh the Further and further you go means the further and further you fly when your trying to help yourself your showing yourself who you are, and so both of those are really important with the world it’s kinda showing you trying to show the world that you’re not as different as everybody else, and that your moving further says I can move further and I can be like everybody else, and just because I’m mentally ill doesn’t mean I can’t move forward like everybody else, and then yeah the one with your, me talking about yourself means that you have to like your kinda when your showing yourself to other people your kinda showing yourself and kinda kinda realize who you are and what’s important.
So if I understand what you’re saying in your piece then, it’s been a real challenge for you, and for people with mental illness to really be seen as who they are.
Yeah being, normal people, mental people aren’t as different as a normal person and we just have something just a little special and just not it’s not a handicap or something to be discri, like people to discriminate against, mumble, it just makes you just a little different than everybody else, and different is not always perfect, but difference is a good thing, you don’t want to be like everybody else.
So um, why did you decide to do this video and be a part of this project?
Because I wanted to to get a message across to a lot of teenagers a lot of adults and older folks a lot alike to realize that there are people like me and that are have problems and stuff and that they had to realize we maybe a little slow at catching things, and that we do need help from other people, but that it doesn’t deter us from moving forward, trying to make our future better and stuff and trying to have people accept us and stuff, and I think that’s it’s really important to me that I’ve to show a lot of teenagers because I have been teased in my past and I just want to show them that I’m not different than they are.
So what are some of the other challenges that kids face, ya know this whole project is going to be about trying to prevent teen suicide and trying to help kids understand that they can get help and so what do you think some of the challenges are and what would you say to them to um if you know someone that really is depressed and thinking of committing suicide.
Yeah, um I I know a lot of this because I had had a friend whose been really depressed, and I myself has a little bit of anxiety and depression disorder and stuff and um experiencing what she went through was really scary and stuff and um a lot of challenges is that they depression can’t go away, but you can stop it from not ruling your entire lifetime, but my challenges, like my hardest one was being moved from my regular school to Artec because I, it came without warning, I just, it just happened and I was afraid and I was nervous and I never talked for the first two weeks, and I’m usually a talkative person, but it was scary for me and I didn’t know what the reasons why I was there and stuff and it was hard for me cuz you had to be checked all the time for any bad things that if you had stuff with you you that you weren’t stuff to have, and the sex offensive groups were really hard on me too and stuff, but I think that by, I learned a lot from other people of other peoples’ experiences and stuff and it helped me to control myself or it helped me to be better than I used to be.
So what would you say to other teenagers though based on what you’ve gone through and how great your doing now?
Well, it’s like to have perseverance, never give up um and stuff because I’ve had things where I wanted to do a talent show like cuz I love singing, and acting and all that stuff and one year I went there and I I didn’t get first place and I was very hard on myself and I felt really bad and that I didn’t do very good, but I said, I ain’t gonna give up and try it again next year and you just gotta keep trying it’s like you have to have have faith in yourself and just have to keep pushin forward and you have to believe in yourself and just do it, don’t don’t doubt yourself, anybody can do it, nothings impossible, although it may seem very impossible it’s not impossible, it’s just hard. I have to admit, I don’t follow my own advice, but I want to believe I have very good advice for people and so.
Well, let’s talk a little bit more about your piece, because we didn’t really talk about some of the people that are in it, so the audience might be curious about who they are.
My father particularly, my father, well my uncle, I lived with him since I was 3 and since I was abused, but um I, I had a ha, a rough time at the beginning of my life experience with him but he has been with me through a lot of things, and I can’t, we understand each other, and we know a lot about each other what buttons to get mad to push to make each other mad at each other and like stuff like like, he would listen to me and I feel like I can talk to him about anything and stuff, and he’s been a big part of my life and, no I’m okay, it’s just I love my uncle a lot, and my nephew, I’ve known him for a year, and been around him for a year and he reminds me of a lot of things that I that I wished I could be like and stuff, cuz I had a really rough childhood, and stuff so I kinda like am a little jealous of him because he kind of seems to have it better than I have, and I hope he doesn’t go through the same things that I’ve done, I’ve gone through, and stuff, and I just want to be like the ultimate aunt for him and stuff, he’s just been fun, he’s been frustrated and has his little fits, and he just makes you feel that I can be better, he kind of motivates me sort of in a way, and stuff his, just the way he is makes me happy and I enjoy spending time with him. Yeah, but no he’s not, he’s my nephew. Yeah um yeah and then there is a couple other people in there that I’ve worked with at Artec, one who helped me film it was is very close to me, and she’s like my other mom sorta in a way and stuff and she’s helped me through a lot of things too ya and stuff but, yeah me doing this thing has kinda was makes me feel good like I’m giving something to to people giving something that they can use, use or not use whatever they choose, I guess.
I guess my last question is, you’ve come a long way, I mean, you are now 19 year old, do you know what you want to do?
Well, I’ve always had an interest in drawing cartoons animation and stuff and that I’ve had things done where I, when I’ve had a thing where I’m over average for computers so I’m like perfect for it, and stuff but, yeah it’s always thing, I think that cartoons kinda like get people kinda away from being so stressed all the time, it kinda gives them, like like for me when I watch cartoons they kinda just like you see a different other persons lifestyle, like the way they are and stuff and it kinda makes you feel like, I wanna be like that or like I feel like that’s me and stuff and that you can see that some even cartoons have hard lives to at the and stuff, like the whole thing was like a very interesting experience and stuff and something I would like to do.
I just I wonder if you could ask her to list all of the people and animals that are in her piece, kind of maybe in the order that they appear.
Yeah, um kind of, like the first one, the first part is me and stuff which which kind of like my like for me watching myself I kinda see a lot of differences in myself than what I usually think I had a problem with like not always agreeing on things I do, or I don’t necessarily like the way I am and want to change all the time, keep going, and there’s I can’t remember exactly if my dad or my dog came in next, but my dogs usually they would seem either my Boxer Peekaboo, or my German Doberman Fisher and then my dad and us spending time together, playing video games and stuff like that, something to be together with and then there’s other ones where my nephews in there and stuff where he’s he’s been a big part of my life too and stuff and there’s other people from Artec that been really helpful that helped me grow to become who I am today and stuff and that I would recommend Artec to anybody who who needs help it’s a really good place to go.
The video is contrasts between sometimes when you’re sad and then things that make you happy is that right? I know there’s some scenes in there where it’s like your being, would you like to talk about that contrast again?
Yeah um, being in having frustrated times it just shows that um everyone’s not perfect it’s that everyone’s gonna have struggles, have little bumps in the road and stuff and it’s important to have those, you can’t go life with out them cuz they’re the most important things, like you have to have bad experiences to make anything better and stuff and that happy experiences are showing that even though I’ve had struggles that you still can be a happy person and make life easy for you and try to and stuff like the happiest thing I’ve ever done was get my high school diploma, and stuff because I was the first to get it and, it was the most emotional day of my entire lifetime because it made me, I had a sense of accomplishment I’ve done something that nobody else in my side of the family’s done, and it makes me feel like I’ve done something good for me, and stuff.