Keep a green tree in your heart

and maybe the singing bird will come

I loved this Chinese proverb from the moment I read it: its truth is so comforting, that maybe, only maybe, will the singing bird come to you. As a survivor who has been in therapy for most of the last 25 years, attended hundreds of self help, healing and recovery meetings, groups and courses, and created a few, yes, it is not a given. It would be lovely if we could earn happy endings, but just as we didn’t deserve our bad luck experiences and trauma, so we don’t get to control our recovery more than by doing the right things and seeing what happens.

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My husband was my real lucky piece – my first ‘safe’ person [agoraphobic security person] and through him I got to meet and mingle with less fear, though I still have very high anxiety and unpredictable panic at times, it’s not what it was like before knowing him. He in turn was very pleased to meet me – he called me the Queen of Hearts, because when we’d met, he went home thinking about me and found 2 Queen of Hearts cards on the way – the universe is really subtle sometimes 😉 We used to have a code for expressing our happiness when he might otherwise be embarassed: “birds sing”. Birds singing was when our lives were running in a good flow of happiness, artmaking, healthy balance. Both of us had been in relationships where our creativity was questioned or invalidated, so making was a very integral part of what we wanted from our connection, support and affirmation and feeling joy in each other’s being an artist.

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Naming myself Singing Bird Artist was a continuing affirmation of this way of being in the world after he died. I find self promotion the hardest part of being an artist – lots of us do, if we wanted to be in the public eye directly, why would we make canvases and installations? As an agoraphobic it can be agony – I’m an extrovert and love socializing with bright interesting people, but having my photo taken and appearing in public sets off weeks of intrusive thoughts/reruns of things I could have said better through to suicidal thoughts etc etc

Anyway, Facebook has seen fit to close my account, because Singing Bird Artist is not a real name… define real? Particularly if you are a taxdodging billionaire, do not, repeat NOT accuse me of a lack of integrity for using the name/avatar in which I make and show work!

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Many people are affected by this name change policy – artists who use professional names that are not US/Eurocentric style; political activists, survivors of attack and abuse and LGBTQ people who might otherwise suffer discrimation, persecution or risk of attack or death on being exposed. I’m bi and the only person I’m not fully out to is my 82 year old devout Catholic mother-in-law, so that bit doesn’t affect me, but the rest? yeah, all of it. The DWP don’t like outspoken disabled people daring to point out the death count from their policies towards us. I moved and changed my name to avoid an abuser from my past being able to find me, and I try to make sure no pictures of me appear anywhere public to avoid being traced. As time goes on I feel safer, but being told by Facebook I was being dishonest for wanting to avoid him fulfilling his threat to silence me whatever it took… that has made sleep very troubled since.

Facebook needs to change its policy. Why is it so necessary for us to be ‘authentic’?

Data mining. Our vital statistics of political, spiritual, professional and CONSUMER preference mean nothing without being able to target us.

Facebook already makes billions and avoids paying its rightful taxes… their ‘integrity’ is far from shining. Their motives are very shady and their disregard for the lives, wellbeing and right to privacy of thousands of vulnerable people chilling. [Human Rights Charter anyone?]

If you would like to sign [another] petition about this, here’s a link:

https://www.change.org/p/facebook-stop-forcing-users-to-display-their-real-name?utm_campaign=responsive_friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition

 

 

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