Today we’d like to introduce you to Tiffany Mensah.
Tiffany, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
In today’s world, I am a woman of great faith, wife, bonus mom, youngest daughter of four, sister, marketing maven, friend, and budding author. I currently work as a Marketing Project Manager in Corporate America by day while spending my night hours working on my boutique Creative Consulting Agency, Mensah and Co.
My today does not correlate to my beginnings. I grew up in what I thought was a pretty loving home until I saw my father hit my mother at the age of seven years old for the first time. It was a consistent image that would be ever-present in front of me until I was 17 years old when my mom got the courage to get a divorce and be free from abuse. However, between the ages of 7-17 years old, my mom left my father a total of eight times before walking away. It was during those times she would flee for safety that the caregivers counted me out. They didn’t know how to connect with a child who had been the witness of Domestic Violence, and who had been removed from her home, her safety net, other siblings, so they counted me out and treated my mom with more empathy than me. It was these experiences that laid seed in my soul to act out as a cry for help.
Having endured the turmoil accompanied by my parents’ tumultuous relationship, as a child, I most times held an unfortunate ringside seat to the dysfunction that swarms the homes of children living in the midst of parents whose relationships are thwarted with domestic violence. This dysfunction as an adult would be developed into stymies that would cause me to self medicate in a variety of ways that would include various toxic relationships and the post-trauma that would come from each of them.
While a success story on the outside, in my personal and professional life, I was met with roadblock after roadblock that began to reveal to me that while I had titles, accolades, and credentials there was a great part of me that needed much work. Furthermore, the scars that I had as a child begin to show up in the most unexpected places. As I begin to forge full throttle into roadblock after roadblock, it became evident that I needed to make some decisions and with those decisions some change.
The hurt, constant unrest, ego, and need for more to validate the person that I was, and a sense of needing to feel worthy had to stop somewhere generationally, and I made the bold choice for it to stop with me. Acknowledgment is key. From there I was able to attribute certain behaviors and attitudes to key life events that may have resulted in doing things that didn’t reflect my best self. The statistics say: “Children who witness incidents of domestic violence (a form of childhood trauma) are at greater risk of serious health problems including obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression, substance abuse, tobacco use and unintended pregnancies than their peers who did not witness domestic violence.” (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence).
I was able to quickly identify myself in these statistics, and if I hadn’t taken a stand and said enough was enough, then the above would’ve been my end story. But thanks be unto God, He knew His purpose and calling was greater for me. I would now be using the pains of my past to bring awareness, to facilitate healing and wholeness to someone currently going through what I went through, or prevent them from going through it all together. I refused to let this generational curse continue. It was my goal to make it stop with me. After acknowledging the trauma and its effects, I took the needed steps to realign my life to maintain wholeness.
Once I became whole and healed I realized that those invaluable lessons of my past prepared me for my future not only with my career but with my husband. I was allowed to have my hand in launching key initiatives time after time, as well as being a major contributor to the creative process of a global brand. I was key in the areas of TV Commercials, Local Store Marketing Campaigns, and leading six-figure marketing campaigns that generated double-digit profitability, while also receiving awards to prove it. I not only developed a passion to inspire and create but to pour into others creative knowledge as well. Assisting with creative opportunities at the table while in Corporate America led to the launch of my creative agency.
Early on in life, I would find great solace in writing. What started as an outlet to release the things I witnessed, experienced and endured would develop into a passion. From that passion, I found my first vision into my future which would be to study Journalism and have my own magazine. In college, I would later venture into Communications and Psychology.
As a child who has survived domestic violence, I am most proud of the work I have done personally and spiritually to address childhood traumas that I experienced firsthand. I also discovered the gifts that were blossoming within me in spite of the unstable home environment as I’m now able to create order in the midst of chaos, orchestrate harmony from failing systems with creative innovation, and develop process improvement strategies, while extending compassion and care to those who are in or have been in insensitive and fragile environments.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road less traveled tends to be much more rugged, with terrains much more unconquered, and with lots of isolation. Over 40 million adults have witnessed domestic violence in some form or fashion in their childhoods. As adults this masticizes into self-defeating attitudes and toxic behaviors that hinder them from being fully functioning and mentally healthy.
I, hid behind corporate titles and ambitions, to define who I was and mask the unaddressed pain of the little girl witnessing abuse day in and out. Early on I felt that these titles, ambitions, and progress would slay the voices of those who said I wouldn’t amount to anything. God had placed a serious call on my life and through much conviction, I realized to answer said call I would have to come out of the pain I had masked as I can do anything ego and pride to make myself vulnerable to the new identity God was calling me to walk into. This new place required a vulnerability that would only be unearthed through counseling, prayer, and full submission to Christ to finally address the wounds of the past.
Psychologists tell us that the way we choose to interpret what happens in our lives, more than the actual circumstances, are the experiences that determine our destiny. Bitter or better, you get to decide. After what seemed like much touseling, many lessons, and bruised beyond human error ego, I decided to be better by doing the work and heal. In that healing, I realized that everything that has transpired in my life; good and bad, have been intentional for the Kingdom of Heaven. My talents, passions, career moves, and innate abilities were being orchestrated for my life purpose.
There was an intense amount of pressure, and as I was transitioning into who God needed me to be he relocated me here to Phoenix, Arizona. It was here in the desert where God established me to lean on Him more than I ever had. It was here where I learned to trust the unexpected over what I could expect. All of my learnings from my home and corporate environments helped me create a lane for myself.
Please tell us about your work.
As an author, my first book is called, “Forgotten” which gives an in-depth and personal account of a child’s journey that has grown up in a domestic violence home. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) confirms that 275 million children are growing up with it. In the US alone, 15+ million children are living with it now. That’s 1 in 7 people. My book is a tool to deliver help, hope, and awareness of Childhood Domestic Violence and to give a voice to these children survivors.
In telling my story I hope to:
– Drive awareness to Childhood Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence while providing resources and initiatives to show survivors they’re not Forgotten, through my newly formed, 501(c)(3), DOVES Network which stands for Daily Overcoming Violence & Embracing Safety.
– Identify and acknowledge unaddressed issues and / or trauma that has occurred.
– Encourage readers to take the steps to get healing from trauma and brokenness.
– Recognizing ways of self-medicating to cover up inward brokenness.
– Quiet the fear and anxiety that says your future will resemble the environment you were apart of.
– Show you what victorious living and success can look like despite what others speak over you.
– Initiate a conversation that evokes compassion and empathy for children and teens vs. labeling.
– Spark a national movement where voices of children of Domestic Violence or any trauma are encouraged to tell their story of overcoming.
– Empowering you to know you are not Forgotten!
This sets me apart because there hasn’t been a campaign that’s solely focused around the conversation surrounding the children that have grown and are growing up in Domestic Violence homes. It hasn’t been widely discussed. Childhood Domestic Violence is only one of 10 major childhood adversities to have only 15% awareness. Psychology Today and USA Today just released articles in January 2019, noting that kids growing up in these homes are more likely to experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) like a soldier returning from war. I strongly believe that awareness holds the key to change.
As it pertains to my for-profit business, it is a creative consulting agency, fueled by freelance creatives. Our specialties are Marketing, Advertising, Brand Strategy, Creative Services, and Project Management. We assist four various client groups:
- Aspiring business owners and start-up entrepreneurs who have an idea and need to map out their strategy to launch on a firm foundation.
2. Current business owners that operationally may feel “stuck” and their business is not progressing forward the way they would like or just want to change from what they’ve been doing to see better results.
3. Business owners who just need resources to drive their already developed plans.
4. A business owner who just wants to be trained on what they need to do to be more effective in our Specialty areas.
This agency came to be from everyday conversations surrounding clarity, guidance, and creative energy. Fortune 100 and 500 companies are where we established our brand identity. We’ve been privileged to learn, grow, and be apart of many of the great success stories for these brands. From there the passion to see individuals, business owners and solopreneurs grew so great, that it wasn’t enough to be so boxed in. You know, creatives thrive for new ways and avenues to create excellence. Excellence is a key staple you can expect to see embedded with all that we touch with your business, as our excellence footprints were left embedded in the corporations we’ve served.
Alongside the client, the business was launched to also serve as a teaching platform for those freelancers who haven’t been able to get clients and to teach them the agency way. Since I’ve been blessed to work with top agencies and been pivotal in Global brands I want to pour into the next generation of leaders. This is what I feel sets us apart from others.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Laughter, I believe is medicine for any trauma. While turbulent my childhood may have been, laughter was an anecdote that helped me through many days. Even now, I can recall jokes with my siblings or times of singing, listening to music, and celebrating the holidays that still make my heart smile. These are my favorite childhood memories and the traditions that I hope to pass down to my own family.
- Pre Order, Forgotten Memoir $16.99
- Website: tiffanymensah.com
- Phone: (602) 456-4182
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffanymauthor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tiffanymauthor/
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