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Welcome to the R. Burrow page


    ISBN: 0-87714-358-7 e-Book edition for PC, Copyright 1999,

ISBN: 0-87714-560-1 Paperback edition, Copyright 2000

ISBN 9781311868671

In Handcuffs - a fictionalized memoir about the Methadone clinic, addiction to drugs such as heroin and benzodiazepines, the childhood "primal addiction," (masturbation) and power and control over your own life. This book is actually a sequel to "The Tree Outside the Window." It answers the question, "What happens to Jill next?" It is also a standalone book. As of now, I'm in the process of finding a traditional publisher. Currently, it is self published, and can be found on such sites as Amazon and Smashwords.


This is a book of short stories that are diverse, and written over a somewhat lengthy period of time. I chose the best of the batch. There are some very sad, tragic stories that will make you cry, some that will make you laugh, and others that will simply entertain you. I've wanted to put this volume together for a long time. So, here it is! Enjoy reading.


R. Burrow grew up in a small, hilly town in West Virginia. In her teens, she traveled to various parts of Europe with her family, and went to school in the U.K. Before graduating high school, she began to suffer from symptoms of schizophrenia, and would continue to struggle with the illness for the next ten years of her life. During this time, she was able to travel to Buffalo, and attended the State University of New York, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. After winning the long, hard battle with mental illness, she married a man she loved, Martin, and settled in Upstate New York. After years of living a quiet home life, she felt a sudden and strong desire to tell her story; it was then, at age 31, that she began to write about her experiences, in the hope that it would educate and inform others from the rarely-heard point of view of the patient.

The material seemed to flow almost effortlessly, and the novel was completed in a year and a half. About the same time "The Tree Outside The Window" was published, the author was blessed with a beautiful boy, James, and is in the process of writing a collection of short stories, as well as another long fiction novel, tentatively entitled, In Handcuffs.   


ABOUT THE TREE OUTSIDE THE WINDOW:                                                                  

"The Tree Outside The Window," is based on autobiographical information about the author, and describes a girl's encounters with schizophrenia and the mental health system. It begins with the childhood experiences of Jill Walker, the main character, and follows with the chronological events leading to her initial psychotic breakdown. The story continues through treatment by various psychiatrists, therapists, and city, state, and county institutions, and culminates in the character's conquering her insanity, and achieving autonomy into adulthood. Above all, it's a tale of hope, that the will and spirit can overcome the horrors and devastation of a mind ravaged by mental illness.

Many of the incidents and descriptions relating to the doctors and psychiatric hospitals were actual occurrences, revealing the problems, inadequacies, and abuses that are common in the mental health system.  The story is fast-paced, insightful, and often amusing, and could be enjoyed by persons of any background, from the age of puberty and up. Mental health workers are encouraged to read the book - it conveys the firsthand experience of schizophrenia, as well as the patient's perspective on life in the mental health establishment. The reader will be enlightened as well as entertained."Thanks, Big Tobacco, for illness and death everywhere.  No one older than 21 would be ignorant enough to become your consumer.  Sorry for saying so, but you can only be as good as the job you do.  Actually, I owe you no apology.  I pay you: you kill me.  If only you hadn't made quitting so hard.  Again, thanks for making evil an exact science." - - a smoker.     

Friday, May 09, 2008

Misunderstanding the Mentally Ill  

There is too much prejudice and ignorance with regard to mental illness. The vast majority of the mentally ill are non-violent.  It takes a violent, cruel person, I believe, to commit a violent act, regardless of whether he or she is bipolar, schizophrenic, or mentally intact.   We don't hear about those who are peaceful, those who do not aggress against others.  Even the best educated among us have a distorted view.  The schizophrenics and manic-depressives who brutalize their kids or kill their spouses give everyone else a bad name.  Unfortunately, they are the ones who make the headlines, who make people afraid.  Sure, there's an occasional tragedy.  But an illness does not change our character.  Lots of "sane" people are guilty of rapes, murders, and assaults.  They are often accused of mental illness to explain what they do (though they sometimes use it as an excuse).  Calling someone mentally ill usually comes with a derogatory tone of voice.  The scapegoating and dumping on sick people needs to stop.  We are human beings, loving parents, mature adults, and well-meaning adolescents, like most of the general population.  This should be well-known to everyone, but I feel that it needs to be restated often.  Thanks for reading and letting me vent my opinions.


Excellent.  A moving and authentic young person's inside view of our disgraceful mental health system.  It's fiction, of course, but sensitive reader can tell author knows whereof she speaks.  For a first book four stars is big praise for me.  I look forward to her next book.  I hope publisher markets this book to the mental health professionals who usually only read each others' work.  -- a reviewer, a writer in Western New York

4 stars

I found this to be a moving, candid account of one young person's long journey through our arcane, often destructive, mental health system. This personal story should be on the top of the list for mental health workers to experience what it really feels like to be on the other side of institutional treatment -- Spirit of Aphra Behn "actor/playwright"

5 stars

...interesting, supportive, suspenseful, and informative as well as entertaining...I can't think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy reading it as well as benefit from it. Some parts of the book will affect everyone's life. ...I can't wait to read the next chapters in "Jill's" life.  I've already recommended it to others. -- Brenda Ainsworth


...I have worked within mental health, and I agree with all that you say...It is totally wrong that such already very sensitive people are treated with such inhumanity...  Thanks for the inspiration.  -- Catriona Muir


This book tells an intense story from a fascinating perspective. The main character's experience with schizophrenia is presented through her relationships with her family, boyfriends, doctors, and other patients. This creates an interesting web of emotions that carries the story along, allowing the readers to glimpse what life is like for a teenager battling a mental disorder. This is certainly not a "feel good" novel, but it will truly make a reader reconsider the mental health system in modern America.  -- J. Kandel 

5 stars 


Some short stories and articles below:


o    G0D's EyE

o    DARCY



o    WADE



o    FOR CPS



Click this link: Chapter One to read an excerpt. be continued...


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