CRANFORD - When one is beaten down by unrelenting forces, physically and mentally, for long periods of time, the concept of healing is not just out of reach, but unfathomable. A Girl Raised by Wolves, while an honest retelling of the trauma and hardships faced by author and Cranford resident, Lockey Maisonneuve, throughout her lifetime, is more importantly a first step for those trapped under the darkness of anger, shame, and resentment towards the journey of healing. Through humor, grit, and “Jersey Girl” sarcasm, Maisonneuve asserts that healing is possible against all odds and shares, through trial and error, which techniques worked for her to finally identify as a survivor and move beyond the horrors of her past.
“I remember a chat with a therapist,” said Maisonneuve. “She kept saying I needed to let go of my anger. I just couldn’t. I finally said, ‘I can’t let go of my anger, because if I do, I truly believe I will fall apart.’ Intellectually, I knew this wasn’t true, but I was so accustomed to the emotion, I truly didn’t know what would happen if I set it aside. I truly didn’t know what I would replace it with.”
Maisonneuve is a survivor of abusive, alcoholic parents. As an adolescent, her father sold her into sex trafficking where she endured unspeakable sexual, physical, and emotional abuse for years. Later in her life, while deep into the recovery and healing process, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent two mastectomies. As if that wasn’t enough tragedy for one lifetime, while undergoing chemo and multiple reconstructive surgeries, her mother was stabbed and brutally murdered. Having been estranged from her mother for 24 years, Maisonneuve was initially considered a suspect, but in a cruel twist of irony, the homicide detectives realized that due to her recent surgeries, she couldn't muster enough strength to lift a coffee cup, let alone a knife.
The story would end here, but for Maisonneuve’s amazing turnaround and uncanny ability to integrate a raunchy, no-holds barred comedic element into her healing process. Instead, she discovered yoga as a means of healing and found the strength to replace judgment with consideration, kindness, peace, and gratitude. Through her writing, and by teaching yoga classes in prisons and inner-city schools, Maisonneuve was able to share her techniques and inspire healing in others.
A Girl Raised by Wolves is a powerful story of inspiration that will lead readers on an emotional rollercoaster reeling intermittently between laughter and tears. To face the pain and loneliness of breast cancer, Maisonneuve details her work as a personal trainer working with others stricken with the disease. When standing in front of a room of inmates preparing to give a trauma informed yoga workshop, Maisonneuve found humor to break the uncomfortable aura of mistrust she felt in the room. To connect to students with a predilection towards violence as a first line of defense, she introduced breathing techniques as an alternative method. These stories are uplifting, hysterical, and true, but Maisonneuve doesn’t set out to provide a step-by-step guidebook to healing. She knows from experience that everyone must make their own individual commitment on their own timeline. A Girl Raised by Wolves is one woman’s empowering journey towards healing. Maisonneuve’s wish is that her memoir will inspire others who, armed with the knowledge that it is possible to achieve, can embark on their own journey of healing.
“Here’s the thing; they didn’t break me,” adds Maisonneuve. “Throughout my entire healing journey, this has been my mantra: They didn’t break me.”