Title: Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl
Author: Stacy Pershall
Original Publication Date: January 31, 2011
Genre: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Mental Health, Psychology
Stacy Pershall grew up depressed and too smart for her own good, a deeply strange girl in Prairie Grove, Arkansas (population 1,000), where the prevailing wisdom was that Jesus healed all. From her days as a thirteen-year-old Jesus freak, through a battle with anorexia and bulimia, her first manic episode at eighteen, and the eventual diagnosis of bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder, this spirited and at times mordantly funny memoir chronicles Pershall’s journey through hell-several breakdowns and suicide attempts—and her struggle with the mental health care system.
After her 2001 suicide attempt, broadcast live on a Webcam, Pershall realized the need to heal her mind and body. She found a revolutionary cure (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) and a new mood-stabilizing medication. She also met a tattoo artist and discovered the healing power of body modification. By giving over her skin and enduring the physical pain, she learned about the true nature of trust.
My Mini Review:
I have read quite a few memoirs in my past so I know what I like and what I’m looking for when I read one. Stacy Pershall gave me half of what I wanted; I prefer a memoir that is told more like a fiction novel and less like a text book. At some points, she’d go all monotone and “professional” by listing facts and data that I was completely uninterested in – I would zone out which made the story extremely hard to follow. I found myself re-reading paragraphs and sentences over and over again until I understood what was being said. Oftentimes, I even stayed confused until the next sentence or two cleared things up for me. Getting inside Stacy Pershall’s brain was a roller coaster ride, for sure – I mostly enjoyed the dark stories from her past, especially about her friendships and relationships. The writing, though, was just gosh darn awful and so terribly messy. There was so much potential that wasn’t reached. I don’t want to say I don’t believe Stacy’s woes because who am I to say what someone else has gone through but, she does a few things to herself that really, reeeeeally remind me of scenes from other popular books and TV shows I’ve read/seen before. Nothing is really shocking or unoriginal in this memoir.
My Favorite Quotes:
“In New York City, where even though I’m a tattooed lady with flaming red dreadlocks, I can exist in relative anonymity on a day-to-day basis.”
“Throughout my life I’ve felt the constant pull between a powerful force that wants to make art and save the world and one that wants to destroy me and everyone in my path.”
“My mood goes up, I commit myself to grandiose plans, I feel certain I can take on the universe. In my case, for every seventy-two hours of unadulterated manic bliss, there are weeks of unremitting depression and obsessive rumination.”
“Never forget the place you left, and when you return, tell stories of other lands.”
“I began to realize that people can be healed by telling each other stories.”
“We don’t have to think about breathing through our noses when we’re well, but the gasping for air consumes us when we’re congested and we can think of little else besides getting oxygen to our lungs.”
“Nobody wants to hate herself all the time, it’s just that some of us, unfortunately, feel compelled to.”
“I remember half of me falling away, and my surprise that there always seemed another half of me to do so.”
“We both needed to be understood more than we needed to understand one another.”
“Each second of hurt is a second that’s already passed, one you never have to go through again.”
“Or maybe we don’t dare hope for a good life, because a good life is a foreign concept. We wouldn’t know it if it bit us.”
“The days when I feel like I can conquer the world still alternate with the ones where I lie in bed crying.”
“The only thing we can do as human beings is tell our stories. In the end, that is the only power we ever had.”
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Dates Read: July 30-August 07, 2018