About Holly Gray, Author of Dissociative Living Blog
My name is Holly Gray. I live in the Pacific Northwest United States with my 11-year-old son and a cat named Alex P. Keaton. My life has been a search for identity and a series of 180 degree turns that baffled and frightened me. I have been in and out of therapy since I was 14 and up until five years ago, found very few answers in the therapeutic process. I was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder in early 2005. I wrestled with the diagnosis for several years before finally coming to terms with it. In doing so, I learned and unlearned a great deal about dissociation and DID.
Popular understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is heavily laden with mythology that gives way to misconceptions and sensationalistic stereotypes. And while there are grains of truth in those stereotypes, distilling fact from fiction can be a monumental chore. I am convinced that it wouldn’t have been nearly the struggle it was for me if there had been more accuracy and less drama in both the mental health community and the general public's awareness of DID.
Today, I am a writer and DID awareness advocate. The focus of my work is humanizing and demystifying DID. I publish Don’t Call Me Sybil, a blog I created to address what I believe are myths about DID, and to share some of my own hard-won clarity around the more confusing aspects of it.
I am very pleased to join the blogging community here at HealthyPlace. I hope to provide a fresh perspective that challenges some of the assumptions about DID and offers compelling alternatives to existing erroneous impressions about dissociative living.
Dissociative Living Blog Welcome Video
Want to know more about Holly Gray? Watch this video on Dissociative Identity Disorder; what it was like for Holly to discover she has DID.
Gray, H. (2010, July 22). About Holly Gray, Author of Dissociative Living Blog, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, September 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2010/07/about-holly-gray
Author: Holly Gray
Pam - I took my time responding to you because I was doing some research on your inquiry. I wanted to be able to tell you yes, I know of support groups, and here's where you can find them. Unfortunately, since being diagnosed in 2005 I've come across only one support group specifically for persons with DID. It's called Amazing Multiples and you can find more information about it here: http://wineberry.net/amazing/. It's in Seattle and I've never visited because that's too far away for me. I think that's one of the things that makes DID such a struggle - it's lonely. It's hard to find peers to connect and commiserate with in person.
I do know that NAMI offers support groups for families of people with mental disorders. You can find NAMI Washington online here: http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?Site=NAMI_Washington. You'll find a listing of local NAMI affiliates by county by clicking here: http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=Your_Local_NAMI&Template=/CustomSource/Affiliate… and scrolling midway down the page.
Another option is finding a support group for trauma survivors. While they aren't DID specific, it can be helpful just to have peers that understand how challenging and sometimes debilitating the repercussions of trauma can be. Those support groups are easier to find. I have found that publicly funded mental health clinics often have more information about resources than private ones do. And you don't have to be a client to ask for information about those resources. If you click here: http://www.dshs.wa.gov/Mentalhealth/rsnmap.shtml, scroll down to the list of county names (not the map, in other words), and click on your county name you will find a list of mental health clinics. These are good places to seek out info on local resources, like support groups.
Online resources, like HealthyPlace, can also be enormously helpful in meeting the need for connection and communication. Sometimes just having someone to talk to who's been there, in person or not, is such a relief.
I've also found that the more informed I am about my disorder, the more empowered and less lonely I feel. To that end, The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is an excellent resource. You can find the ISSTD online here: http://www.isst-d.org/.
The Sidran Institute also offers a lot of helpful information. Sidran's website is here: http://sidran.org/.
I hope that some of this information is helpful. I know firsthand what a struggle it can be to find support. I hope that both you and your son get that much needed support.
Very helpful information and a breath of fresh air...now i have questions. do you take questions? how do i do that? thank you very much! Jen
Jen - yes, I encourage questions. Questions are a vital part of a healthy dialogue, I think. Feel free to leave questions here in the comments section. I'll reply ASAP.
Thank you for the feedback. I am thrilled by your use of the phrase "a breath of fresh air." I hope I can continue to offer refreshing perspectives.
Happy to see you blogging here! What a great opportunity for advocacy and spreading some much-needed enlightenment. I love the concept of "the illusion of knowledge" in your video -- so true. Congrats!
Thank you, Sarah!
I hold a great deal of respect and admiration for you! I am going to share this with the supporters of my coalition, The Comfort Compass. I'm sure there will be a great deal of interest.
Thank you for what you do!
Shannon, thank you.
I like the name of your coalition, Comfort Compass. A solid sense of direction can be an immeasurable comfort, particular when managing life with mental health challenges.
Thanks for the support and for recommending my blog!
Holly, this is great, I am very impressed!!!! NancyE
Thank you, NancyE!
Holly, this looks excellent, and your post and your video both make me feel like good things are coming! Keep up the good work!
Thanks so much, Anne! I think you might be right about those good things!