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

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

4.6 29
by Stacy Pershall
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“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

See more details below

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.

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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393340792
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/23/2012
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
262,534
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Marya Hornbacher

"An utterly unique journey down some of the mind's more mysterious byways…ranges from the shocking to the simply lovely."—Marya Hornbacher

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >