Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl

( 29 )

Overview

?An utterly unique journey down some of the mind?s more mysterious byways . . . ranges from the shocking to the simply lovely.??Marya Hornbacher
Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, population 1,000. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak through her eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited memoir chronicles Pershall?s journey through hell and her ...

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Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl

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Overview

“An utterly unique journey down some of the mind’s more mysterious byways . . . ranges from the shocking to the simply lovely.”—Marya Hornbacher
Stacy Pershall grew up as an overly intelligent, depressed, deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, population 1,000. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak through her eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited memoir chronicles Pershall’s journey through hell and her struggle with the mental health care system.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“[An] electrifying account . . . this is one whirlwind ride.”
Bust
“Pershall’s way of describing how the disordered mind works is joltingly accurate. Loud in the House of Myself is a beautifully written sliver of understanding that is frank, self-­deprecating, and, at times, funny. This memoir is more than just a tear-jerking page turner; it’s the manifesto of a ‘strange girl’ and could be, for some, a lifeline.”
Publishers Weekly
Pershall went from being what she calls a strange and sensitive kid living in northwest Arkansas to a tattooed lady with flaming red dreadlocks, making a living as an artist and belly dancer in New York City. A former anorexic, she was diagnosed after many years with a bipolar disorder and a borderline personality disorder. During one especially ragged period while seesawing between manic highs and dark lows, Pershall spiraled even deeper. One of the first cam girls, young women who broadcast their lives 24 hours a day via webcams, Pershall attempted suicide as the bathroom camera recorded her effort. It took 15 years of wading through a sea of 24 prescription drugs and a parade of doctors to find three medications that worked for her. At 34, two things, tattooing and a new behavioral therapy, finally helped her transcend the chaotic and painful life she had endured since childhood. Therapy and tattooing taught her "how to accept and survive pain, a lesson I needed to learn physically as well as emotionally," and probably saved her life. This is a gritty, intimate, and at times very sad story of one young woman's struggle with mental illness. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews

The grim, turbulent life of a girl at the mercy of multiple psychological maladies.

The product of an unconventional childhood in rural Prairie Grove, Ark., in the '70s, belly dancer and artist Pershall recalls prancing around department stores fantasizing about becoming a dancer "magically teleported to New York City on waves of talent." But by age ten, the author recognized a noticeable uptick in the ups and downs she was experiencing. She internalized her mother's miscarriage, began drumming up alternate "identities" to buffer her parents' hurtful "obsessive devotion" to sibling Cameron and adopted fundamentalist Christianity as a retreat from grade-school bullying. Her erratic behavior increased after Owen, her punky high-school sweetheart, took her virginity and took off after criticizing her eating habits. Anorexia, bulimia and self-loathing followed. After Pershall discovered diet pills, she contemplated suicide in tenth grade. Eventually, her snooping mother read the author's diary and set in motion a series of visits to a psychiatrist. The rest of her high-school years were spent in a dense cloud of cyclical manic depression ("for every seventy-two hours of unadulterated manic bliss, there are weeks of unremitting depression and obsessive rumination"), which marred a stint with a study-abroad program in London. The author's lamentations on her scarred, downward-spiraling condition continue through theater internships and two more suicide attempts—one streamed live on a webcam. Pershall's material becomes increasingly difficult to read as she writes frenetically about the sad vacuum of her life and the recurring bouts of aggression and self-loathing that destroyed countless relationships, including a misguided marriage at 24. A tattoo aficionado, Pershall continues to artistically recreate her skin as "a place in which I could live." With much suffering and more than 24 drug combinations tried and failed, she closes with glimmers of hope and self-awareness.

A sobering, exhaustive amalgam of scary psychoses and liberating introspection.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393340792
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/23/2012
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 216,421
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Stacy Pershall is a belly dancer and artist living in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(21)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2011

    Totally disagree with the reviewer below!

    I'm from Arkansas, and I saw Stacy Pershall read at the Arkansas Lit Fest, and she was charming, funny, sweet and talked about how honored she was to be there. She's also a huge advocate for mental health education, and for saving the lives of kids who feel ostracized in small towns. Her parents were in the audience, as were a group of her friends from Governor's School. She said how this was her favorite reading of her book tour because she got to come home.

    The book itself is very educational, and I found myself nodding my head as I read more than once. If you're a smart kid and you don't buy into the Baptist thing, it's hard to fit in here. She's right. She talks in the book about the therapist in Arkansas and her teachers who kept her alive during her teenage years. I personally came away from Loud in the House of Myself with much more compassion for and understanding of why girls fall prey to eating disorders and self-hatred. When the first word of a book's title is "loud," you have to expect that maybe it won't be the most meek and tactful thing. I'm an unoffended Southerner for whom truth is more important.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    This is an exceptionally written book about eye opening story ab

    This is an exceptionally written book about eye opening story about growing up with an undiagnosed mental illness and the struggle to find the proper treatment in young adulthood. 

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    A must read!!!

    First book I've ever felt the need to review. By far one of the best books I've ever read. I tell everyone I meet to read it. Stacy Pershall is one of my new favourite authors. <3

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2011

    Good, but not for everyone

    I was drawn to this book for two reasons. 1) I'm from the area she grew up in, and 2) I live with someone who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I thought reading a book from an author who had this disorder could shed some much needed light on how to handle my own situation so I'm not walking on eggshells in my own house trying to avoid the mood swing. What I got was little help regarding that aspect of BPD and a small knowledge base of what may go own in the mind of someone with BPD. For that I am thankful. It's a hard road to walk alone and even harder when there is such a disconnect between you and a disorder. At times I found this book humorous, but from the beginning I felt offended. I felt talked down to in such a way that because I grew up in Northwest Arkansas, in the bible belt, that we were bible thumping hicks from a small town. The only thing I would recommend for this author is a little more tact. I don't know her, and I don't want to meet her. The author wrote a good book, it was just a shame I was so turned off and offended that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone from the south.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2012

    A needed, beautifully written, inspiratiinal read that says, "You're not alone!"

    Highly recommended read

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Window to tge world of BPS

    Very well-written portrait of life with BPS and other disorders. The author, despite her perception of herself, is easy to identify with and quite likeable.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Achingly personal memoir.

    Review by Stephanie:

    We always saw those weird girls in high school -- the ones who never fit in, who always sat alone during lunch. The ones we never bothered to get to know. Stacy Pershall was one of those girls, but shockingly, she doesn't seem very different from me. Her memoir -- all of its crudeness, honesty, and heartfelt revelations -- announces to the world, the deepest secrets of a weird girl, and also acknowledges how the girl who never fit in is actually, truthfully, painfully, a little bit of every girl we see today.

    This memoir is achingly personal. It's not like reading a diary; it's more like reading a girl's thoughts as they happen. It holds no barriers and only tells the truth -- the ugliest truth. I connected so much with Stacy, both as a child, and as an adult. My own suffering never has gone as far as suicide attempts or bulimia, but a lot of the things Stacy ponders upon are things that have flitted through my head too many times to count. It also vindicates the millions of girls today who sink from the pressure of body image and societal acceptance. I'm not saying suicide and bulimia are healthy habits, but upon reading Stacy's real-life accounts, a part of me feels like it knows why girls would do such things.

    A memoir is a collection of memories, which separates it from an autobiography, and Stacy's makes me feel like I'm living her life. That's how real, how heartbreaking, her story is. I had trouble finishing it in the end because there is no definite conclusion, so it drags on a bit, but other than that, I really enjoyed this one. Stacy's narrative as an outcast breaks my heart, and her discovery and exoneration, which is being diagnosed with Borderline Personality disorder -- finally! An excuse for being weird -- makes it sing. If you want the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, pick up Loud in the House of Myself to revisit the injustices of childhood, as well as the insecurities of life in general, that one girl -- all girls -- have faced in their lifetimes.

    Quote: "For a while I really believed [my eating disorder] was just that: playing. I was toying with the idea of sickness, flirting with it, but because I was not yet what I would consider emaciated, I felt I could give it up at will and move on to something else. The old I-can-quit-anytime-I-want. But soon I was sort of playing but it was sort of real, and then it was entirely real and I realized it had never been a game at all. Playing with anorexia is like playing with heroin, fire, plutonium, or Scientology -- it's just a bad idea all around. Playing with anorexia is like cracking open mercury thermometers and drinking them just to see what happens. Anorexia, to use the vernacular, ain't playin'."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 22, 2011

    Couldn't put it down.

    My headline says it all. I grabbed this book at random one day while in B&N. I felt so compelled to read it that I bought then and there because I didn't want to wait to get home and put it on my Nook. I finished it in 4 days. Loved loved loved it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2011

    Deeply Moving

    What a fascinating, unique memoir- so worth reading! Kudos, Stacy Pershall!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

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    Posted January 15, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2011

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    Posted February 17, 2011

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    Posted September 2, 2011

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    Posted April 17, 2011

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    Posted April 11, 2011

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    Posted March 12, 2011

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    Posted February 21, 2012

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    Posted March 21, 2011

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