The Skin You’re In

I was drawn to Stacy Pershall’s book, Loud in the House of Myself: Memoir of a Strange Girl, because it addresses life as an anorexic,  a bulimic, and a borderline (a person suffering from borderline personality disorder, or BPD).  It was the inclusion of BPD that really got my attention because I am good friends with a borderline and have seen the anguish this disorder can bestow on its host and I wanted to find some help or hope; truth be told, I wanted to see the possibility of a happy ending.

Stacy Pershall writes with a breezy intelligence and honesty that move her memoir rapidly along.  Now in her mid-thirties, she exposes herself from infancy through the present in a manner more revealing than was ever broadcast by the webcams she used to have installed throughout her home.  No longer putting her life on display for validation or out of desperation, Pershall tells of her troubled past to show how hard-won her current optimism truly is.  Most prominent is her struggle with eating disorders, but everything is fed by her instability and lack of identity, which are products of BPD.

I feel that Stacy’s story would hold great appeal for teen girls, as it touches on issues of body and self-image, identity, relationships, drugs, school drama/politics, etc.  Even for girls who have not dealt with social or psychological problems as extreme as Pershall’s, Loud in the House of Myself can offer a much needed sense of kinship that is so often obliterated when one is an adolescent in the company of adolescents.  This book may read like something out of Ellen Hopkins‘ fiction series, Crank, but the fact that it is a memoir augments its impact and makes me admire Pershall’s achievements all the more. Her message that finding a way to be comfortable in your own skin is worth the struggle may be an old one, but it is a perennial favorite.  I, for one, am glad that Stacy Pershall has persevered to finally reclaim her life, her smile, and her dream of being a writer.

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