This was funny when I first got the message when I logged in, so I snapped a screenshot. I mean, I’d dealt with missing assets, and I thought it the epitome of irony that now I’d lose body parts — I mean, which parts can even be detached? 🙂 I realized that it was only that the bald I was wearing had “disappeared” from the database.

It wasn’t so funny when I later realized that I’d lost *all* of my shapes except the one I was wearing (my skirt shape). NONE of them were in the database, and I was in full panic mode, fearing I’d lose my avatar because of the random inventory loss I was experiencing. I’d also lost my various balds (I make a bald for each skin, as the bald controls the shape of the eyebrows, and each skin has different eyebrow positioning).

Over the next couple of hours, I worked to make a “backup” of the shape I was wearing, the only ways I could think of: I gave a copy to my sis Bethy and to my alt, and I copied down all my sliders to an offline text file, so in case it was necessary, I could recreate myself (I’d deal with the distortion of the skirt shape if and when necessary).

I started compiling a list of missing assets (I’d previously noticed missing clothing, hair and jewelry over the past couple of weeks) with asset UUIDs to send to Linden support, in the hope that there was some way of recovering them.

Before I was able to send the complaint, and after two hours of being a total mess, I tried one last time to put on my basic shape, and I didn’t get the dreaded error message. Most of my shapes had come back somehow. I was still missing a few balds, and all of the real assets I was missing (the hair and jewelry), but I’d recovered the items that were most important to me.

This is the first time I’ve ever had problems with the asset server. I’ve watched others complain about this particular issue in the blog and on the forums. I now know the distress this can cause. People who know me would say that I’m fairly level-headed and not given to bursts of emotion, but this had me on the verge of crying. Ana Lutetia has told me that she’s had similar temporary shape disappearance, too, and has felt the anxiety that this provokes.

My shape is a fundamental part of me; I don’t mess with it other than for minor adjustments (my Lovey skins required major shape-surgery to not have taco-sized lips).

Losing assets is losing money. It happens in rl just as it can happen in sl. I can always get more money, and I can re-purchase the assets I’ve lost. Oh well.

But losing my shape is akin to losing my identity, losing a part of myself. Yeah, I could mostly recreate it, but it would never be exactly ME again. *That* is distressing, and a much more powerful and painful sensation than I would’ve imagined it to be.

I hope this never happens to you, and I hope that LL can finally fix this problem which has been dogging them for months.