Loud in the House of Myself

Loud in the House of Myself Stacy Pershall Grew Up As An Overly Intelligent, Depressed, Deeply Strange Girl In Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Population , 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

Stacy Pershall teaches Memoir I and II at Gotham Writers Workshop and creative writing to teens online through the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth She is a suicide prevention speaker for the Active Minds Speakers Bureau She lives in New York City.

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  • Paperback
  • 240 pages
  • Loud in the House of Myself
  • Stacy Pershall
  • English
  • 18 June 2017
  • 9780393340792

10 thoughts on “Loud in the House of Myself

  1. says:

    Rarely do I land upon a book that changes me as a mother but, then came Loud in the House of Myself aka LITHOM.As a mother of a girl who is already struggling with body image at age eight, who is also intensely emotional and creative, I found that it was initially excruciating to read the details of what this young girl experienced Stacy as a child was just too familiar I had to stop reading for a while because it was too painful to idly sit and watch this tormented young girl unravel under the watch of her Arkansan family in a town the size of a Wal Mart Supercenter Besides, the way I stumbled upon Stacy Pershall and her memoir was fortuitous I went to Barnes Noble in Little Rock that afternoon to buy only David Sedaris latest book and walked out holding a copy of LITHOM with Strange Girl Army inscribed in pink ink, the author s infectious smile and mural of colorful tattoos indelibly part of my experience in the South.Here was my other problem but the reason I picked it back up I loved the way Stacy wrote, her ability to paint the painful details of her childhood with such an honest, almost comical, stroke that I couldn t stop caring about this little girl and how much she loved her mother and father I fell in love with her one of a kind quirks the love for Hot Wheels instead of dolls, how she wanted to be Schroeder from Peanuts with a lit candle on her tiny toy piano, her love for Sugar Daddies, my all time favorite candy from the 70s She was smart and full of what I call the sillies, doing things her own unique way as a child, writing stories that showed her creativity, and in the beginning her mother accepted all of it all of her eccentricities She probably even celebrated them and laughed a little too loud about them like most every mother does who thinks her child is the cutest kid in the room But, as I continued to read, I grew angry with her mother, her father too, for their negligence in accepting their beautiful, artistic, tormented daughter as she got older, for ignoring what they, no doubt, had observed all along, for never even going along for moral support when she got a tattoo that held meaning for her when she reached adulthood just to hold her hand, if nothing else, even if they didn t agree with it Then, it hit me They had absolutely no tools by which to reach her It was as if she had fallen into a well, calling out for her parents, but they didn t have the right kind of flashlight to see her or the right rope ladder to pull her out, and she and they kept slipping off the rungs back into the dark There were no books like LITHOM in their world, or for that matter, on any bookshelf in the South, let alone Prairie Grove, Arkansas There was no , no Goodreads and even the almighty Oprah, who Stacy s mother might have turned to at the time on the topic of eating disorders, was of no help either, Oprah herself obsessed with diets and fitting into her skinny jeans as American women cheered her on This book has changed me for the better, but I resisted it at first because I was scared scared to look too closely at things a mother doesn t want to really see or confront Had Stacy s writing not been so rhythmic, so intelligent, so genuine, I would have stopped and gone back to reading David Sedaris for kicks after carpool, math homework and dirty dishes I now encourage mothers to read this book to better understand our girls and boys, to understand mental illness and our healthcare system better We, their parents, need to seek out memoirs like Stacy s and educate ourselves about things that are too painful most days to contemplate When it s too painful and we want to look away, that s how we know that we need to keep reading This is how we learn what type of ladder or flashlight we should have in our parenting tool shed We may slip and fall until we find the right one, but then we just make another trip back to Home Depot or the closest Wal Mart Supercenter.

  2. says:

    I read this book for the goodreads book club Diversity in All Forms If you would like to participate in our discussions here is the link really enjoyed this book As a special education teacher that deals with a large majority of students with mental health issues, this book was absolutely fascinating to me I not only learned about bulimia and anorexia, but also about borderline personality disorder and bipolar The author did a great job at sharing her story, and I love reading autobiographies This book was well written and covered a large majority of her life Even the epilogue was fascinating I found it very interesting too that she loves tattoos, so she made that a big part of her book all the way through.She became obsessed with things and people and I found this part of the book really fascinating There s nothing quite like being manic and sliding into obsession and then realizing the people you re obsessed with are obsessed with you too It s a strange inverse psychosis, like seeing your reflection thrown back at you in a thousand mirrors, going on forever, and it wreaks havoc on successful splitting I suggest this book

  3. says:

    Ten years ago I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder Since then, I have often been in and out of therapy I ve tried various techniques to regulate my moods What worked best for me, however, were words Words are important to me, and by reading and learning about BPD, I was able to articulate my feelings.I ve read many books on the subject, probably all of which were written by therapists Some I stepped back in amazement from, asking how they knew so much about me Others were clearly speculating how a Borderline feels and reacts, and were way off I was excited to read Loud in the House of Myself because here was a book actually written by a Borderline And, not surprisingly, Stacy Pershall knows my story.Okay, so Pershall s life has been extreme than mine Compared to her, I m a tame Borderline my therapists always said I was high functioning But the base of her actions and feelings are nearly identical If you want insight into what it means to have BPD, this is the book.On top of her BPD, Pershall struggled with eating disorders Though I have many extremist behaviors that mirror the author s bulimia and anorexia, I have never had an eating disorder, per se Though I m not as versed in this field, Pershall s descriptions were vivid and made this side of her illness extremely real for me.When I first started this book, my one worry was that given the marketing of the book and its target audience largely, young girls it seems that Loud in the House of Myself would be juvenile and poorly written Quickly, this fear receded Pershall is intelligent and witty She talks often about her love of literature and her reading list is impressive Loud in the House of Myself is a frightening book It s scary to get in the head of someone who is often irrational, someone who is seemingly normal one moment, belligerent the next, someone who swings from a belief that they are divine to a knowledge that they are worse than nothing It s scary, but it s what it means to be Borderline For whatever it is worth, I attest for Pershall s accuracy on the subject Loud in the House of Myself is largely what it means to have been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

  4. says:

    I m than a little embarrassed to admit that I ve known Stacy for 10 years and only just finished reading her lovely memoir yesterday My delay in reading her work is no indicator of its quality just a reflection of my own laziness and terrible reading habits That said, it was such a pleasure to read the final product after following Stacy s journey to get this memoir published As a reader of her Livejournal, I was fortunate enough to read occasional excerpts of the book, along with her tales of frustration as she tried to find the right agent and publisher I believe that everything she poured into this book completely pays off.Stacy s memoir focuses on her youth in rural Arkansas, where she felt like an outcast for being bright, creative, and strange She also developed an eating disorder and began to exhibit symptoms of borderline personality disorder BPD , which continued to get worse in her teens and twenties Stacy writes very frankly about how her mental illness impacted her education, her relationships, and her jobs To say that her raw disclosure is brave is an understatement it s also chillingly beautiful and desperately needed.I think Stacy does a beautiful job explaining why her tattoos are so important to her, both as a way to process her pain and reclaim her body Writing hateful things on herself in Sharpie and then locking herself in a closet was a common form of self flagellation in her childhood and young adulthood I love that she has reclaimed her skin as a space for art and affirmation, and I hope that her story inspires others to reconsider the meaning of body modification.The other part of Stacy s story, which I think is only partially told in this memoir but I hope she will continue to tell , is her struggle with the mental health care system The lack of adequate mental health care in this country has led to some devastating news headlines in recent weeks, and people are only beginning to understand the crises faced by those who have untreated mental illness One of the most relevant parts of the book comes near the end, when Stacy describes her feelings about getting her meds with insurance Here is how the psych med story tends to go After either a much convincing or b no convincing at all, we crazies march ourselves into the pharmacy one day with a fresh prescription for potential sanity Once there, we may or may not fork over hundreds of dollars for a month s supply of pink or orange or yellow pillows If we re one of the lucky ones with health insurance, they hand over the bottle for little or no money, bestowing upon us a chance at getting better If we re among the 46 million uninsured, well, though shit, we ll just have to be depressed or suicidal, or homicidal, as the case may be Having been uninsured for most of my adult life, I will always remember the day when, at age thirty five, I handed my new insurance card across the country at Walgreen s and paid three dollars for a thirty day supply of a drug that normally cost four hundred I felt privileged, as if I had gained access to some exclusive club, then felt guilty for feeling privileged, then felt an overwhelming sense of relief, like for the first time in my life I could take a breath that went all the way to the bottom of my lungs I found myself daydreaming about other doctors I could visit the orthopedist, the audiologist, the gynecologist Visions of annual pap smears danced in my head.Maybe Stacy s next memoir will go into greater detail about her recovery process and the need for expanded insurance coverage In the meantime, I know that many strange girls have been and will be saved by this book I think Stacy has so much to share with the world, and I m truly grateful that, even though the journey has been daunting, she s still here.

  5. says:

    My favorite thing about Loud in the House of Myself was the title When I first saw this book, I knew I would love it A memoir on mental illness, by a strange girl, with such a good title I was eager to get my hands on it Unfortunately, I didn t enjoy this book very much and honestly found it a bit annoying Memoirists don t have the luxury of manufacturing fascinating life events to make the real story interesting instead, the reader is drawn to the author rather than the storyline The problem here was that I didn t feel a connection with Pershall and I absolutely thought I would after reading the back cover The question is, why Perhaps something about her personality rubbed me the wrong way and it has nothing to do with the book However, I think that the problem stemmed from the way the book was written My biggest issue was that Pershall seems strangely reluctant to let us enter her personal world Sure, she tells us what she did, but her emotions and motivations are often omitted or only briefly touched on Her visit to Spain stands out as an example of this It reads like a hazily remembered spring break account from a friend who was high for the entire trip The story was interesting, but I didn t feel I learned much about Pershall Since the memoir lacks the insightful personal interrogation that I look for in this genre, her bizarre behaviors can easily leave you thinking, Wow, she s totally nuts rather than helping you develop empathy or understanding It s almost like she s deliberately sensationalizing, not humanizing, herself Another issue I had with this book was that she brought up her diagnoses too often I felt like this was yet another way to distance herself from the reader She begins talking about BPD and its treatment very early in the book, before we have had the chance to establish a relationship with the author or understand the characteristics of BPD in the context of a person s life Her transcription of the DSM IV criteria for BPD and the pronouncement that this describes her very well is possibly the most uninteresting way she could have chosen to present herself I also found it a bit troubling that she embraces diagnostic labels so much BPD a very problematic diagnosis and Pershall does not discuss or critique it at all While diagnoses can help individuals make sense of their experiences and behaviors, it seems contradictory that she refers to herself as a strange girl yet views so much of her life through the lens of mental illness Throughout the book, diagnoses come up in an unhelpful way An unusual behavior will be followed by, this is common in people with BPD, which both throws the reader out of the story and sidesteps the interesting topic of why she acted this way I also felt that the writing and narrative were not as strong as they could be Pershall often lingered over scenes and details that were not particularly informative or interesting Roommate I think you might have BPD Perhall I don t End scene , but skims over topics that I wanted to hear about For example, she hints at a troubled childhood relationship with her parents when she states that Linehan s invalidating environment applies to her life, but barely describes this relationship Similarly, she was married to an apparently wonderful and supportive man for six years, but barely mentions him at all I feel that discussing a long term relationship would help destigmatize BPD, yet she spends time discussing the guy she had an affair with than she does her husband Was this element of her life not dramatic or interesting enough As for the writing, I neither loved it nor hated it Pershall described her childhood well however, I found other sections to be alternately slow and a bit overdone I disliked how she started each chapter with the story of one of her tattoos I felt like this technique interrupted the narrative flow, but seemed to add little to the story I think the memoir is like Pershall s tattoos both are attempts to present herself to the world, but in portraying her story, she obscures the emotions and experiences under the surface.

  6. says:

    When I checked this out at the library, the librarian scanning my books perked up Oh, I read this one, she said This conversation, by the way, was odd in and of itself the librarians all recognise me but rarely comment on my reading choices Was it good I asked.She made a face It waswell, she s really kind of crazy, she said.That was, of course, precisely the reason that I was reading this book in the first place, but I didn t say that In any case, the librarian was pretty much correct the book is all about the author being really kind of crazy.It s hard to rate In some ways I think the book is very well done, but in other ways I think that she is a bit too single minded It s kind of like I was crazy, and then I was crazier, and then I was really crazy, and then they called me this kind of crazy but I was actually that kind of crazy, and then I solved my craziness by getting tattoos I m exaggerating, of course, but not by all that much.Actually, the tattoo part of things could have been really interesting had she gone into depth It sounds like, for her, it was a combination of socially sanctioned kind of self injury and a desire to make memories and feelings permanent For all the meaning she tries to attribute to her tattoos, though, it s not all that clear what they mean to her in the now, whether it s the process of being tattooed that matters or the tattoos themselves I wanted to know which tends to be a good sign, as far as I m concerned.There s a focus on mania, I think I don t know a whole lot about most of the things with which she was diagnosed, but as far as I could tell she largely brushed over the less dramatic bits to focus on the, well, crazy bits Unhealthy on off relationship Plenty of page space Guy she married Not important It s easy to understand why, but at the same time I wonder whether that undermines part of the message.

  7. says:

    Intelligent, witty, brilliant, heartbreaking, hilarious, hard to fathom and hitting home too If you grew up in a small town in the 80 s and were are even the least bit weird or quirkythis is one GREAT read It s another one I read slowly, because it s that good Pershall is an excellent wordsmith and captivating with her story She s bold enough to not only come out with mental illness but do a great deal to help the reader understand it and remove the stigma associated with it This book is great from start to finish There s despair, chaos, hope and healing Quite a recipe for a great book and this one is.

  8. says:

    Thank you Stacy for writing such a poetic, wonderful, hearbreakingly truthful memoir about mental illness It s something that doesn t get talked about enough.

  9. says:

    I don t need to write my autobiography I just read it Sure, there are some differences from my own story, but it hits so close as to be chilling I, like the author, found my way via tattoos and DBT I m not sure how someone without at least one the diagnoses would see the book as what makes the book good are the moments I found myself reading exactly what I would do, how I would react, seeing myself outside myself This isn t intentionally vague, it s just one of those books you either get or don t get All the reviewers complaining that the emotional content is lacking really don t understand that you can t describe the emotions when they are changing like a toddler at a light switch plate with six different lamps And the cure of DBT well, you learn basic life skills that most people learn as a child how to control your reactions to your emotions and the reader would just be incredulous and not believe that the writer could not do that, nay, were unaware it was possible to do that.

  10. says:

    Very unsatisfying This book has many flaws and they make it hard to read and relate I wish she could have reflected on the cause and effect factor, because she only lists what happened as facts and not really describe how she felt about the situation or how it may have changed her She describes DBT as what saved her, but she never went into detail regarding the emotional process she went through I think she took advantage of being crazy and used it as a crutcher life I wanted to like her, but too many things

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