CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford’s Lockey Maisonneuve uses the mantra, “it didn’t break me” as she speaks about her traumatic past and journey into healing.
Maisonneuve, born to alcoholic parents, was sold into sex trafficking as an adolescent. Years later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy and two mastectomies. During that time, her mother, to whom she was estranged, was murdered.
Now, Maisonneuve is detailing her journey to healing in her debut memoir, “A Girl Raised by Wolves.”
“It’s about my childhood, the things I went through and how I healed from the trauma,” Maisonneuve said. “Writing it sort of made me up my game in my own self-care and self-healing, because I didn’t want to feel fraudulent.”
In her search for healing, Maisonneuve found yoga. She now instructs yoga at Newark Public Schools, Trinitas Hospital, drug and alcohol rehab facilities and prisons.
“All of that work is a direct result of what I got out of healing from everything that I’ve been through,” Maisonneuve said. “I had to confront my own feelings about myself and reconciled the things that happened to me.”
How does she stay positive?
“I have my moments,” Maisonneuve said. “But I always say to myself, ‘They didn’t break me.’ If I can handle this, I can handle anything. I’m proud of how I came out of it and that’s why I’m positive.”
In addition, Maisonneuve is inspired by her two children, both teenagers, and a husband, Jean-Albert, who was elected to the Cranford Township Committee last November.
“I’m proud of my family,” Maisonneuve said. “We’re all growing and it’s nice.”
Although writing “A Girl Raised by Wolves” was not easy for Maisonneuve, she found the process more enjoyable once she focused on writing with her own voice.
“Writing the book, at first, was a chore,” she said. “I use my sense of humor for everything, so I incorporated my humor, sarcasm and curse words. As soon as I started doing that, I said ‘Oh my God, this is easier to do now.”
Maisonneuve’s ultimate goal for “A Girl Raised by Wolves” is to inspire others and encourage others that healing is possible, she said.
“I really want other people who have experienced any sort of trauma to be able to find comfort in their own healing and really step through it,” she said. “I still have flashbacks and triggers, but I’ve learned to manage it. There is life after trauma.”
She worked on “A Girl Raised by Wolves” for four years, but escalated her writing within the last few months, writing in her car between classes and waking up at 2:30 a.m. to type out thoughts that came to her during sleep.
“When I finished the book, I felt empty,” Maisonneuve said. “I said to myself, ‘What do I do now?’ But that time was filled very quickly by promoting the book, social media and all that.”
When asked if she would like to see “A Girl Raised by Wolves” become a movie, Maisonneuve’s eyes lit up.
“Are you kidding? Yes!” She said. “My daughter has asked that Beyoncé play her. But, we’re keeping our feet on the ground and seeing what happens next. We have to sell the book first.”
“A Girl Raised by Wolves” will be released on June 7. The book can be purchased on Amazon or Maisonneuve’s website.
Additionally, Maisonneuve will host upcoming book signings on June 11 at Kilkenny House in Cranford and June 23 at Bogarts Bookstore in Millville. More information can be found on the book’s Facebook page.