Running with Scissors is based on the personal memories of Augusten’s very unusual childhood
and teen years. Most of his childhood he grew up with his mother, Deirdre. She was an aspiring
poet. Augusten always looked up to his mom, he wanted to be just like her. Augusten’s father
was always too busy involved in his job and didn’t spend much time with him. His mother and
father would fight a lot, which soon led to a divorce. After the divorce, Augusten’s father,
Norman started to drink on a regular basis, and his mother started to see a therapist.
His mother struggled with depression, and saw therapist, Dr. Finch. She started to see him daily,
and have therapy sessions at his house. She brought Augusten along with her, he thought the
doctor seemed strange, especially his house, it was a wreck. There was furniture all over the lawn
and the house was painted a pink color. Augusten always questioned him as a doctor, but his
mother just thought that Dr. Finch knew best, and was just trying to help the situation. Dr. Finch
thought Deirdre was in trouble with her husband and suggested for her to get away for a while.
She was diagnosed with bi-polar, and always seemed to be on too many medications. She left for
the weekend and left her son in the care of the Finch family.
His mother became very unstable to take care of her son. When Augusten was twelve, she left
him with the Finch family, he didn’t have a choice. She left him for the Finches to adopt him. His
mother had abandoned him, and his dad wouldn’t accept his calls. He was now stuck with this
strange family. There were Dr. Finch’s two daughters, Hope and Natalie. He got along well with
Natalie, they were only one year apart. Hope was Finch’s favorite daughter, and there was also
Agnes, Finch’s wife. She seemed nice, but bizarre.
At this time, Augusten didn’t know how to cope with the feeling of abandonment, he would
write down his thoughts in a journal to help him. He gave up on calling his father in hope of
getting him out of his new home. Weeks went by, and also gave up hope of his mother coming
back. She would stop by, but only for a short weekend visit, or therapy session with Dr. Finch.
Most of the time, she was delusional. Augusten spent most of his time with Natalie, she became
his best friend. He didn’t go to school much, he often skipped, and soon dropped out.
By the time he was fifteen, he was making decisions by himself, he had little supervision, and
was dropped out of school. He developed a relationship with one of Dr. Finch’s patients, a
schizophrenic that was twenty years older than him. He learned a lot about love from the
experience. No one ever mentioned a problem with their relationship. Although Augusten made
most of his decisions himself, he wanted so badly a normal life of a teenager, to be grounded, to
have rules and boundaries.
Dr. Finch had started to lose his mind, Augusten always knew something wasn’t right with him.
Agnes suggested to Deirdre to stop seeing him. She had agreed to keep Augusten, she felt he was
now a part of the Finch family. Agnes long suffered the loss of her husband, he was still alive,
but his mind was gone. He wanted to start getting ready for college, like someone should be
doing at his age, rather than living at his mother’s psychiatrists house. He wanted to move to
away, he wanted to start over. He had dreams of becoming a professional hairdresser.
Augusten’s mother was sent to a retreat hospital. She was delusional and unable to take care of
herself. At this time, Augusten didn’t care much for his mother. He blamed her for the situation
he was put in, the way he had to grow up, the feeling of never experiencing a normal family. He
was frustrated with her, it was hard for him to cope.
His mother was released from the hospital. Augusten truly...
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