5 Steps of Grief


They say there are 5 steps of grief..and while the loss of my blog last week cannot legitimately be compared to losing a loved one, I did go through those steps nonetheless:

1.  Denial: it's the "this can't be happening to me" thought.  I initially received an email from one of my readers (thanks Mandy). It was early one morning, I woke to go to the gym, and as I often do, got out of bed, peed, got dressed and turned on my phone as I waited for my car to warm up. As expected, my emails started going off. Still nothing unusual. But, after a few emails commenting on my blog, I received this simple one from Mandy:

What happened to your blog?
I responded to her that I wasn't aware of anything, but would be checking in on it when I got to a computer. When I eventually logged onto my gmail account, then to Blogger, I was notified that the blog no longer existed, as many of you had discovered. I never received an email, not a notice, not a warning. Simply vanished!

How could this have happened? I kept checking, rechecking, and looking for my blog from different computers. But, after all, it simply was not there.  At that point, there was no crying. Not accepting or even acknowledging the loss of my blog. I was simply stunned.
2) Anger: Oh yea baby! You can bet there was, and maybe still is, anger. It was simply: Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How come my relatively tame blog compared to other blogs on Blogger was singled out? After all, Blogger is home of some blogs that even I simply won't list: shit-eating, pissed-on, cum-loaded, drug infested blogs. They contain some pictures that revolt me, that cause me to wince when I look at and immediately click "X" to avoid seeing. My blog? I've never showed frontal nudity.

I wanted to fight! All that hard work down he drain. and STUPID, STUPID me: I did not back up my blog as recommended by so many people. I mean, yea, I have some of my posts backed up. Past posts, but not future ones. So, while I would have the whole BiLikeMe archive, I don't have the past 2 months of blog posts that have yet to be published. Backing up your blog requires, at least for me, another cumbersome daily step, which I haven't done.  That will probably change.
But, even if I do back up my blog, the thoughts are there, but the pictures, the setup, the widgets, the thing that makes my blog mine, would be gone. Apparently, there is no easy way to duplicate that stuff.... DAMN YOU BLOGGER!

3) Bargaining: Please help me!? That was when I reached out to the good people at Google/blogger Closes Gay Blogs.  Funny, it wasn't but a week or two ago that I wrote about Str8 Guy Scott's blog being targeted that I started reading Google/blogger Closes Gay Blogs.  Jeff responded to my email, and I followed the directions on his website. I placed an appeal on the  "Google Spreadsheet" and wrote a letter in the Blogger help forum. I was instructed to not be nasty, don't be angry. Just say what happened, ask for help. I did, I posted my calm, cool and collected letter..numerous times. But, even that letter was deleted every time I posted it. I mentioned this to Jeff, and he said perhaps Blogger closed so may blogs that they're being inundated with requests and have removed the ability to request an appeal.  After a day or two of no responses, and no blog, I tried again to post my letter for help in the forum. This time it posted and stayed. However, This is the response I received from someone called Dark UFO. He's listed on the help forums as a "Top Contributor and Official Blog*Star" I don't know if he works for Google or not..

Spam Appeal Guidelines - April 2011

Given the fact that automated spam detection is not yet a perfect science, the Blogger Team is happy to investigate any reports of false positive spam reviews, posted here in the forum. That being said, before you request an appeal, it's worth describing a few examples of what Blogger regularly removes, as part of its zero tolerance policy to abusive / inappropriate content:

- Affiliate marketing.
- Content created with scripts and programs, rather than by hand.
- Content scraped from other sources.
- Copyright Infringement.
- Content or links referencing GPT, PTC, PTS, 'Make money from home', 'Make money fast', or other referral-based activities.
- Large blogs with multiple, unfocused / unrelated subjects.
- Links to Illegal Downloads / Streaming / Torrents.

If you are confident that your content doesn't fall into any of the above categories, and you have already requested a manual review using the dashboard link - then you can request an appeal on the spam review decision, and Blogger will again review your blog. Just reply here, in this discussion, saying that you've read these Guidelines - and we'll pass your appeal to Blogger. Please be sure to include your BlogSpot URL, or lockedBlogID.

What is the BlogSpot URL, or lockedBlogID?

Please note that the Blogger Team may look at other blogs in your account, as part of their review. If you request an appeal, and Blogger discovers other abusive / inappropriate content during the investigation, you risk having all of your content permanently removed. Please consider this when requesting an appeal.

If you want to know why any of this is necessary, read here:

Please read about the volumes of blogs that are involved in the removal / review process:

If any of you understand what that means, you're better than me. Anyone else? All aboard the Titanic Confusion!

Yet, I responded that I took all the necessary steps and wish to continue my appeal (guess it couldn't hurt) I figured saying "Huh? I be 2 stoopid to figurew out whet ure teling me ta du" wasn't a positive response, and probably wouldn't encourage Blogger to reinstate my blog.  The response I received was more understandable: It would take up to 7 days to hear and review my submission. Ugh..7 days...Bargaining with the devil is beneath me.

4) Depression: Ya think I wasn't depressed? All that time I put in to perfect my blog? All the work, thoughts I wrote down ...they're gone. Woe is me!

5) Acceptance: OK. I've been deleted. Wrong, mean, whatever. I'm gone. I understand. Now, let's get even! I contacted Jeff again at Google and asked what other blog publishing formats were best. He recommended a few and I decided to try Wordpress. I had to sign up, then start working on the header picture..which wasn't easy it itself. Then, try and import my old posts, which didn't go so smoothly. Then, start working with the widgets and gizmos that I have on my blog and bring them over to WP. Well,,that requires setting up new accounts, moving old accounts, set ups, etc. But, I was all for it dammit! This was going to be better, bigger....

But, it wasn't happening quick. It would require days, maybe weeks of set-up. And then still there's the issue of the new, irretrievable posts. Then..almost as suddenly as it disappeared..even though I never received an email, not a notice, not a warning. My blog was back!

But, the anger didn't go away. I posted on my blog that I was making a change. Then, late Saturday night (or early Sunday morning if you want me to be exact), I woke up. What's running away from Blogger going to do? Who does it serve? How am I changing things?

Again, my blog loss is trivial compared to other, more emotional losses. But, the feelings are somewhat familiar.  From a website on dealing with loss I found:

Get help. You will survive. You will heal, even if you cannot believe that now, just know that it is true. To
feel pain after loss is normal. It proves that we are alive, human. But we can't stop living. We have to become stronger, while not shutting off our feelings for the hope of one day being healed and finding love and/or
happiness again. Helping others through something we have experienced is a wonderful way to facilitate our
healing and bring good out of something tragic. (courtesy of: http://www.essortment.com/5-stages-grief-16816.html)

Does running hurt Blogger? Probably not. I mean, I'm sure there must be some revenue from having successful blogs. But, I don't think Google or Blogger had a special board meeting this weekend, and saw their profits tumble because my blog had been shut. I don't think someone yelled "Heads are going to roll if Bi Like Me isn't back up!" and slammed the phone down that brought me back. But I do feel that there was some kind of injustice to closing my blog, and going to WordPress, would be difficult, and maybe staying would do more.

I'm going to try and get some answers from Dark UFO. I'm going to see why these "mistakes" against gay blogs are happening. Maybe it won't lead anywhere. But, running doesn't help either.

I also took the advice of the writer of  HAWT Blog and installed the "Counter of Shame" on my blog. It lists all the gay blogs that Blogger has closed to date. It brings you to  Google/blogger Closes Gay Blogs.

By the way, I am quite aware that I left you all in a lurch. Yes, I took the 4 part story down when my blog came back because I was going to start my new blog with that story. Since that isn't happening anymore, it will appear here, again..from the beginning..starting tomorrow.

I am also completely aware that some of my blog "brothers" failed to recognize my absence in recent days. That also will not be forgotten. But, I give thanks to all my readers, those that emailed me their support, and others that wrote about me in their blogs and specifically to Jayson at Guys Like Me and to all that offered help support and kindness.

I'm back.

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