Cat Baugh for Below Deck Season 11
Photo By: Fred Jagueneau/Bravo via Getty Images

Below Deck Season 11: Cat Reveals Religious Cult ‘Trauma’

Any new season of Below Deck starts with a group of sunny, carefree yachties boarding their new vessel and ready for a hectic, but rewarding charter season. Production does their job to make sure they cast attractive and ambitious people who seem like they are living charmed lives, but many also have complicated histories, which was the case with Below Deck Season 11’s Cat Baugh.

Of course, as the season progresses, the cracks start to show. Past traumas and challenges are shared as the crew start to trust each other. It’s certainly an interesting dynamic to see the cast work and live side by side twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Cat felt “supressed” with her foster family

Cat works with the interior team on Season 11 of Below Deck. She’s lacking experience on super-yachts, and it’s causing discord on the team.

After working out some issues with Barbie Pascual, Cat found a bit of footing within her job. She also started to opened up about the “trauma” experienced living in foster care with an ultra-religious family.

“It is quite evident that Cat is a very sensitive soul. I feel like she might want to be heard a bit more,” Fraser Olender said in a confessional interview during February 19 episode. “I never had someone to look after me in this scary industry. And so I want to be that for someone else.”

The chief stew deserves a lot of credit for intuiting the feelings of his team member so well. Indeed, Cat opened up to her boss that she was in “foster care.” And that her real last name is not “Baugh.”

“My dad passed away when I was nine from Multiple sclerosis. And then my mom passed away when I was 13 just in her sleep,” Cat revealed of her childhood. “It was very sudden and no [they don’t know what it was],” she explained. “So me and my brother were thrown into the system and separated. The family I lived with I don’t talk to because they were like a cult religion.”

Sadly, Cat temporarily lost contact with her brother “because he wasn’t religious,” though they lived in the same state.

“So I grew up in Orange County, California, with a foster family in a place called Yorba Linda. From 13 to 18, I was a part of this family’s culture and life and dynamic,” the stew told producers in confessional.

“Everything was for praise in the church and I felt like I was just a prop to them,” Cat added. “It was almost like they wanted to forget my past life. I felt so suppressed and I never stood up for myself.”

Breaking the cycle

Finally, Cat had the chance to live her own life. And she chose the relationship with her brother over that of her foster family.

“Because I wanted to continue a relationship with my biological brother, they were like, ‘No. We don’t support that,’” she explained. “Once I turned 18, I decided to choose my brother and choose my life. I decided to live for me and that’s when I became the most independent. Now me and my brother are so close. He’s like my best friend.”

 One could empathize how this experience affected Cat, and that her co-workers could give her some grace. Hopefully, sharing her truth will help Cat assimilate with her team.

“Just growing up with a lot of trauma, it makes you very insecure about yourself. The foster family I was with did a lot of things that made me feel like I was just not perfect,” she added “You had to be perfect. So how people view my work ethic is very important to me. I don’t want to be viewed as weak. It literally makes me have major anxiety.”

Catch Below Deck on Mondays at 9/8c on Bravo.