At the begining of Running With Scissors, Augusten Burroughs introduces himself as a young child living with fighting parents. His parents Deidre and Norman are abusive physically and verbally around Augusten. The only way their fighting ceases is if the see a psychiatrist named Dr. Finch. In general Augusten likes Dr. Finch looking up to him as a person of peace.
Eventually Deidre and Norman get a divorce where Deidre receives custody of Augusten and Norman leaves the family picture. Deidre and her son move closer to the Finch office. Deidre is now seeing him multiple times daily. Eventually Augusten starts spending weeks at the Finch household where his is introduced to the Finch family. During this time he does not go to school often and doesn't want to go because he always feels left out.
The Finch family is a large one. Their house is messy always and has patients living in it. Dr. Finch's daughter hope works and the office and Augusten's stay was made much more comfortable by this relation. Two other daughters Natalie and Vickie who introduce Augusten to a dirty inappropriate world for a young boy. Agnes, the wife of Dr. Finch tries to clean but is very unsuccessful. His mother starts to become more distant.