Since I’ve started with the shitty series from V.C. Andrews (or her ghostwriter), I decided to tackle the last book in the series called Cat.
This is definitely the most disturbing of this series. Cat deals with issues that none of the other girls had to. This wasn’t arguing parents or legal disputes or even absentee dads.
She was forty-six years old and from what I understood, she had not been to a doctor for more than thirty years. She didn’t have to go to a doctor to give birth to me. I had been adopted. I didn’t learn that until . . . until afterward, but it made sense. It was practically the only thing that did.
As the story unfolds, we witness some serious psychological abuse from her mother. She grew up thinking her body and its functions are something to be ashamed of and her mother was afraid of anything physical of nature.
I slept in a rather heavy cotton nightgown, even during the summer. Mother wouldn’t permit me to own anything flimsy and certainly not anything sheer. Daddy tried to buy me some more feminine nighties and even gave me one for a birthday present once, but my mother accidentally ruined it in the washing machine. I cried about it.
“Why,” she would ask, “does a woman, especially a young girl or an unmarried woman, have to look attractive to go to sleep? It’s not a social event. Pretty things aren’t important for that; practical things are
Her mother does not like Cat wearing makeup and would sit in silent disapproval if she noticed anything out of place. She’s the type of woman that will cut out pictures out of a science book and rant and rave to the teacher about things she perceives as inappropriate. As Cat goes to therapy, she advises her daughter to keep her mouth shut and not reveal anything that can be mis-interpreted.
You make sure you think about everything before you speak. Once a word is out, it’s out. You’ve got to think of your thoughts as valuable rare birds caged up in here,” she said pointing to her temple. “In the best and safest place of all, your own head. If she tries to make you tell something you don’t want to tell, you just get yourself right up out of that chair and call me to come fetch you.
In therapy, the truth starts spilling out when she starts talking about her father and her father’s hands:
“How come you talk so much about your father’s hands?” Misty asked with a wide smile.
Her father had touched her inappropriately and had reinforced the mother’s idea that she should feel shame about herself. He took advantage of her. She was sexually assaulted by her schoolmates, which just make the trauma that much worse. Her mother did not help at all and ended up either slapping her or right out hitting her.
“Did your father hit you, too?” Misty asked.
“No,” I said. “He never touched me in a way that wasn’t affectionate or loving,” I added.
The father was a true pedo. He would walk in on his daughter bathing and just sit and watch her scrub herself. He probably got off on seeing her naked and knowing that his wife was downstairs preparing breakfast, too occupied to observe what he was doing. And the little girl was young enough and so desperate for any sign of affection to not be able to know what was going on.
“He brushed his hand over my hair and then knelt beside the tub and asked me to show him how I washed myself.
The fact that she is as normal as she is, is a miracle. I found her the easiest to relate to as a narrator in terms of social status. She wasn’t raised in the ghetto, but she wasn’t super rich either. She had what could have been a normal, average American home life if her parents hadn’t been freaks.
I was shocked at the end to learn that her mother was her sister. I fell like there’s more to the story than that. With V.C. Andrews, there always is.
This is the last book in the series (it would have made it better as one whole book with all four stories in it). It deals with psychological trauma caused by parents and other teen issues.