Often people live a troubled life without understanding the main reason behind their problems. Research has shown that mainly these are underlying symptoms of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD). Many people give up on their struggles and choose means of ending their lives. Nonetheless, the most suitable solutions are mostly found within a person by realizing their self-worth and taking charge of their life. In through diverse activities like reshaping the skin and other hobbies often give people purpose of life whereby they reform and become better persons. In an endeavor to understand this with clarity, Stacy Pershall tells her story with the condition in her book Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl on how she suffered unknowingly and almost took her life and how she rediscovered the purpose of her life and changed for the best.
Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl is among some of the best literary works I have covered in the recent past. First published in 2011, the book has gained more fame and recognition increasingly. I found it quite appealing how the author tells their early childhood strugglers throughout to adulthood in a smooth and precision manner that keeps the reader glued to the material page after page. Stacy in this case is a young girl living in a small town in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, which has a small population of 1,000 people (Pershall, 2012). She is quite an energetic sibling in her family. She grows up excited about her future life and fantasizing of how she would move to New York by the wave of talent and there she would become a famous dancer with everything she ever wanted. She wants to this type of life because she believes that “The popular girls are there. You know you can never be as cool as they are” (6). Nonetheless, at the age of ten years she notices something’s in her family. She internalizes her mother’s miscarriage. She ponders over her life and her position especially that her parents were more concerned with her sibling Cameron. At the same time, she was experiencing a lot of bullying from her grade school. She wanted something else. She wanted to become someone else that was stronger than her weak-self. She turned to fundamentalists Christianity which she observed with great dedication (Pershall, 2012). She became more erratic in her behavior especially when her high school sweetheart Owen took her virginity and immediately took off criticizing for her eating habits. She however could not control the habit saying that “To anyone who thinks eating disorders are something rich, bored white girls do to get attention, I bid you bite me” (15). She continued feeling bad for herself and soon developed Anorexia, bulimia and self-loathing and is later diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD) (Matthies, Swantje D, and Alexandra Philipsen). Although she discovered diet pills she would not be satisfied and continued to self-torture herself. At tenth grade she thought about ending her life whereby she argues that “A depressed person is selfish because herself, the very core of who she is, will not leave her alone, and she can no more stop thinking about this self and how to escape it (12)”. Her mother discovered her diary and after reading it she resulted to taking Stacy to a psychiatrist where she began her treatment. Her high school is cynical situation that she does not find any joy living. Through her lifestyle she ruins her misguided marriage at the age of 24 years (Pershall, 2012). In 2001, she attempts to take her life where the incident was captured on a webcam and broadcasted. After this, she discovers that she needed to take charge over her life and decide on a new direction to take. She discovers a revolutionary cure in the form of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy as well as new mood-stabilizing medication. With this she has a new direction and goes on to identify a tattoo artist who helps her reshape her skin. According to her “The tattoo artist inflicts pain and I take it. With each breath I count to one again.” (18). She believes by feeling the pain of action and having these new tattoos which represented places she could live, she had established away to numb her internal pain. The book ends with the author having discovered a new wave of life which seemed to bury the painful past.
After reading the memoirs, I outlined a few themes such as the agony of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and bipolar disorder (BD), bad parenting, suicide, and self-discovery. Throughout the piece, Stacy, tells of how she grew up as an over intelligent and yet depressed girl. She was constantly bullied and hurt by those close to her like her sweetheart Owen whereby she resulted in erratic behaviors which lead to self-loathing and other conditions. All these were however underlying symptoms of BPD and BD. I find it quite enlightening to the society on the essence of taking these symptoms with ultimate seriousness. She, however, tells this part of the story with a sense of humor that the reader can relate and empathize with the protagonist. At the same time, the theme of bad parenting is quite apparent. Stacy grows up in a close family and continues to feel distanced from her parents as she grows older. The parents neglect her needs and focus more on other aspects such as her sibling Cameron. In forgetting and assuming her welfare because of their bad parenting skills, she slips into a turmoil of suffering (Eisenberg, Nancy, and Carlos Valiente). Stacy highlights the theme of suicide frequently from the time she was in tenth grade. She went on to other attempts whereby she recorded one of them on a webcam. I believe these thoughts were primarily driven by her empty state of life and the lack of appropriate intervention. Nonetheless, at the end of her struggle and constant suicide attempts, she realizes her worth and results in finding her true self. Through medication and tattoos practice, Stacy successfully rediscovers herself and no longer wants to end her life (Clark, Samuel). She has a new focus on living her full life.
Stacy relays her story with extreme clarity. She highlights the struggles that people with BPD and BD go through unknowingly. Essentially, she began to notice a given emptiness in her life which continued as she grew older. With time, she would contemplate on ending her life as the suffering increased. Usually, such feelings are rampant in many people who do not realize, that this is a medical condition. Due to pressure and lack of better alternatives, a lot of people have died by taking their lives as they sought to escape the prison of troubles. I find this piece to be an excellent read and as such, I would recommend it to all readers from children, parents with children who show erratic behaviors like Stacy, school teacher, and other institutions. Primarily, this book enlightens the society as a whole on the essence of observing to identify symptoms and individuals with BPD and BD and teaches the community on their struggles and to best interact with them alongside offering help (Ballesteros, A. et al.). I particularly liked the way that the author tells her story in a smooth manner that includes both anxious psychotic and humorous style. I also enjoyed the point where Stacy realizes that taking her life would not solve her problems and that by taking charge of her situation would revolution her entire life. Although I might not have BPD and BD diseases, I regularly interact with people who portray similar symptoms. The memoirs put me in a better position to understand their struggles as well as informing on how to best interact with them. Stacy’s memoirs appeal both emotionally and logically especially the way she narrates her experiences in a manner that the reader can feel her pain and empathize with her struggles. At the same time, it is only logical to wake up and take control of one’s life since although there might be a lot of external help, personal decisions drive permanent changes in an individual’s life.
- Ballesteros, A. et al. “Differentiating Between Bipolar Affective Disorder (BD) And Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) – A Clinical Case.” European Psychiatry, vol 33, 2016, p. S504. Elsevier BV, doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.1854.
- Clark, Samuel. “PLEASURE AS SELF-DISCOVERY.” Ratio, vol 25, no. 3, 2012, pp. 260-276. Wiley-Blackwell, doi:10.1111/j.1467-9329.2012.00541.x.
- Eisenberg, Nancy, and Carlos Valiente. “Elaborations On A Theme: Beyond Main Effects In Relations Of Parenting To Children’s Coping And Regulation.” Parenting, vol 4, no. 4, 2012, pp. 319-323. Informa UK Limited, doi:10.1207/s15327922par0404_2.
- Matthies, Swantje D, and Alexandra Philipsen. “Common Ground In Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) And Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)–Review Of Recent Findings.” Borderline Personality Disorder And Emotion Dysregulation, vol 1, no. 1, 2014, p. 3. Springer Nature, doi:10.1186/2051-6673-1-3.
- Pershall, S. (2012). Loud in the house of myself (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton.