Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

Augusten Burroughs, as he renamed himself once he reached leagal age, is a highly intellegent man who suffered a childhood of abuse and neglect under his biological parents. His father was a college professor who became a mean drunk every evening, and his mother suffered with mental illness which included hallucinations of demons.

His brother, John Elder Robison (Look Me In the Eye), has Asperger’s Syndrome and made up names for everyone. He called his brother Varmint. After his parents divorced, Burroughs’ mother signed his custody over to her psychologist, a Dr. Finch who from all accounts was as nutty as any of his patients and eventually lost his license to practice medicine.

Living in the Finches’ house with an assortment of non-blood related misfits was chaotic and unrestrained. There were no rules. No one told Burroughs when to go to bed or to school, or that he had to go at all for that matter. Respect of his elders was not insisted upon and nothing was off limits or sacred.

When Burroughs felt depressed, Dr. Finch reached to the shelf behind him and without looking picked up a drug sample and tossed it to Burroughs. Dr. Finch told him to take that until it was gone and he would be feeling better. Burroughs had already decided he was gay, so he figured the answer to his depression was a new boyfriend. Somehow that didn’t fix things either.

I was depressed at the sad state of affairs in the lives of these non-fiction characters by the end of this memoir. I was binge-reading his brother John’s books on Asperger’s Syndrome and thought I might get a little more insight from Burroughs’ book. There wasn’t any insight about Asperger’s, just a sad sick feeling that comes from a life without boundaries.

This book does have sexually explicit scenes and crude language.

#ChrisRobison #mentalillness #Snort #Varmit #depression