- 7 Chapter Posts
Sun Dec 3rd, 2017 @ 4:57pm
Name London Kyler Ridley
Second Position Doctor (Psy.D.)
|Aliases||L (short for London)
|*Date of Birth||01/22/1976|
|*Current Address||681 Tranquility Road, Coldwater Junction, MT|
|*Employer(s)||Storm Shelter, Inc. (2017)
Position: Clinical and Forensic Psychiatrist, Consultant
Horse and Buggy Medcare (2016, 1 year)
Position: Clinical and Forensic Psychiatrist
|*Professional Specialty||Clinical Psychiatry: London completed her psychiatry residency with Massachusetts General Hospital, in which she learned to assess and treat chronic and severe mental illnesses as well as psychological problems associated with everyday living. During her residency, she worked in an inpatient unit as well as an outpatient clinic associated with the hospital where she provided individual, group, and family therapy to children, adolescents, and adults.
Forensic Psychiatry: Upon completion of her general psychiatry residency, London went on to complete a fellowship in forensic psychiatry, the application of psychiatric theories and practices within the legal system. During her fellowship, she learned such things as how to develop psychological profiles of criminal offenders, assess the psychological competency of individuals to stand trial, how to assess individuals as to determine sanity at the time of criminal offenses, how to provide psychiatric expertise during interviews and interrogations, as well as how to provide crisis counseling to traumatized victims and witnesses. In addition, London learned how to communicate her findings in a court of law as an expert witness.
Trauma Psychiatry: Building upon the work she began in her forensic psychiatry fellowship, London completed a second fellowship, which expanded her knowledge concerning the assessment and treatment of trauma survivors, including crime survivors as well as members of law enforcement.
|*Hair Color||Medium Brown: Thick, curls, worn shoulder length.|
|*Eye Color||Green-Blue Hazel (mixture of green and blue)|
|Marks and Scars||No prominent distinguishing marks or scars.|
|Style||Given all her years working in hospital settings, correctional settings and then with law enforcement, London has learned to prioritize comfort and professionalism over style when it comes to her wardrobe. While she would never dress in sweats or anything that showed too much skin while working, she has learned to consider the people she’s working with when choosing her clothing so that she doesn’t present as someone who is either too rich or too poor to relate to those she’s trying to help. She usually wears slacks and blouses, but she also enjoys wearing long dresses and long skirts on occasion, freedom she did not always have when she was required to wear a hospital lab coat over her apparel. Because she is naturally tall, she doesn’t usually wear heels, but she doesn’t mind them if she’s getting particularly dressed up. Most of the time, however, she wears comfortable flats or sandals. When it comes to jewelry, with the exception of gold studs and a small gold cross on a gold chain that belonged to her biological mother, London doesn’t like to wear much else, out of concern for safety and out of concern not to appear too ostentatious.
Off-duty and while relaxing at home on a rare day off, London likes to be as comfortable as possible and doesn’t mind staying in sweats or pajamas all day.
Personality & Traits
|*Personality||Intelligent: London is a fast learner who genuinely enjoys learning new skills and new information, and she isn’t afraid of a challenge. She enjoys keeping up with the latest research in her fields of interest and doesn’t mind exchanging ideas with people who have different perspectives or points of view. Because of her intellect, she aspires to excel in whatever roles she takes on, which unfortunately, often times leaves little time for a personal life.
Compassionate: Since childhood, London has always been concerned about the welfare of others and has been driven to help them overcome whatever challenges they faced. Although this compassionate side didn’t always apply to London’s own biological mother, whom young London saw as someone who abandoned her and chose drugs over parenthood, when she was old enough to understand the truth about her mother’s struggles, London allowed the concern and genuine affection she had always felt toward her mother to surface fully. Since her mother’s death, London’s compassion for trauma survivors and others with emotional struggles has only deepened, and she sees her work as a way to honor her mother. Unfortunately, her strong sense of compassion sometimes clouds her objectivity and she struggles at times to render the plain objective judgments required of her as a forensic evaluator.
Workaholic: Because London has spent much of her working life on-call, she has been conditioned to devote much of her time and energy to her career. Consequently, it’s difficult for her to completely relax while on vacations or to form personal relationships with people outside of work. She has yet to find a man who respects and appreciates how dedicated she is to her work and is willing to put in the time and effort to be a true partner at the same time.
Ethical: London has a strong sense of right and wrong when it comes to the practice of psychiatry and she isn’t afraid to speak her mind if she feels someone is being mistreated or she has been asked to do something that violates her professional ethics. At the same time, she is open-minded when it comes to her patients and believes ethical practice requires her to help them discover what is right for their personal circumstances. She isn’t afraid to bend or even break rules that get in the way of good patient care, but that’s the only reason she would consider breaking the rules. Consequently, she sometimes clashes with administrators who demand she comply with the rule book even when the rules hinder, or even represent the opposite of, common sense.
|Mannerisms||London loves to laugh, and with those who know her well, her voice can take on a sarcastic tone at times to match her sense of humor. She isn’t loud, however, and with patients, her words tend to come with a sense of warmth and sincere interest. Despite her height and overall build, London is distinctly feminine and moves with grace. She isn’t quick to anger, but if she gets angry or particularly passionate about something, her voice can take on an intense edge and her eyes seem to shine brighter.|
Some American Sign Language
|Dexterity & Mobility||London is left-handed and has no issues with general dexterity or mobility. She moves with grace.|
|*Specialties & Interests||Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder/Rape Trauma Syndrome/Battered Woman Syndrome: As a trauma psychiatrist, London makes every effort to keep up with the latest research and treatments for PTSD. She is particularly knowledgeable about trauma related to domestic violence and sexual assault and is a recognized expert witness on these topics for the local community.
Police Psychology: Having worked alongside members of law enforcement for several years as a forensic psychiatrist, London has taken particular interest in the subspecialty known as police psychology, which focuses on the hiring, assessment, and mental health care of law enforcement members. As a trauma specialist, she became naturally drawn to helping her colleagues cope with the unique challenges of the work.
Understanding the psychological needs of under-served groups: The longer London has worked with trauma survivors, the more aware she has become of those people who don’t receive the attention and support they need, including male survivors of domestic and sexual violence, members of the LGTQ community, disabled survivors, and survivors from outside the United States. She has made every effort to become more knowledgeable about these groups and spends free time fundraising and raising awareness of these issues as much as she can.
Time with good food and good company: London loves spending time with her few close friends, mostly colleagues, especially over a good meal. The food doesn’t have to be gourmet, and in fact she prefers comfort food or take-out most of the time, though she would never say no to a good steak or plate of pasta.
Watching TV: London rarely gets to watch TV live, but she has a deluxe DVR and TV package so she can record her favorite TV dramas. These include medical shows, legal shows, and even crime dramas. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is her favorite, and although she knows they rarely get criminal investigation entirely accurate, she loves the shows’ twists and turns.
Reading: Like watching TV, Ridley rarely has time to read for pleasure, but when she does, she will read mystery and suspense novels as well as anything by Joyce Carol Oates.
|Self Defense||London’s self-defense skills are limited to the safe holds she learned when treating patients in the hospital or prison, and what she learned in a couple of women’s self-defense classes sponsored by the crisis center and law enforcement agencies she worked with.|
|Weapons||London currently has no weapons training or experience. She will be taking training on basic firearms safety and skills with Storm Shelter's trainer, Akela Noelani.|
|Beliefs||As a scientist by training, London does not believe in the paranormal and is highly skeptical of anyone claiming to possess such skills. She’s much more inclined to search for a medical or psychological explanation for that phenomenon.|
|Father||Charles Ridley (Adoptive father), age 70, Retired Family Court Judge, Coldwater Junction, MT
Biological Father Unknown
|Mother||Elizabeth Ridley (Adoptive mother), age 70, Retired Social Worker, Coldwater Junction, MT
Miri Marlowe, Part-time waitress, full-time addict, alcoholic, and prostitution.
|London’s family line is an in the flesh example of the cycle of poverty, substance abuse, violence, and its consequences. Her mother, Miri Marlowe, grew up with two alcoholic parents in Cincinnati, Ohio who barely acknowledged her existence, let alone provided for her most basic needs or gave her any sort of affection. According to Miri, her own mother told her the only reason Miri was born was because her mother underestimated how far along she was when she sought an abortion and she believed no one would adopt Miri if they knew how much her mother drank during her pregnancy.
Miri’s earliest memories involved observing both parents either passed out, beating each other up, or beating her. During those rare periods when her parents were able to hold down jobs as a waitress and simple handyman, respectively, Miri was left in the care of random neighbors or drug using acquaintances of her parents, who themselves were neglectful and in some cases, sexually abusive. During Miri’s childhood, teachers weren’t as attentive to child abuse and neglect, but even if they had been, Miri came from a long line of Marlowes who were labeled “trailer trash smart asses” who were criminals that had defiantly resisted any attempts by “the government” to tell them how to live their lives.
By the time Miri turned 16, she had dropped out of school and was living on the streets. Having decided life on her own couldn’t be any worse than what she had experienced in the first 16 years of her life, Miri made the decision to turn to prostitution to make money to survive. It wasn’t long before Miri met her Romeo pimp, who promised to love her and take care of her mere hours before he beat her and gave her to his friends to “break in.”
For the next two years, Miri’s life consisted of what seemed like the endless repetition of the same awful day over and over again. Eventually, Miri was arrested for the first time for prostitution and possession. Traumatized and strung out, she didn’t believe the nurse who told her she was pregnant by some rapist john, but she was filled with relief when the judge sentenced her to a residential program out of consideration for her circumstances and her lack of prior criminal history.
|January 22, 1976
London Kyler Marlowe is born a healthy 7lbs, 6 ounces at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, thanks to the His Honor, Judge Charles Ridley, and his wife, Elizabeth Ridley, Miri’s social worker, who grant Miri a placement at the Bishop Maternity Home. London is named after the foreign city her mother would most like to visit someday.
February 1, 1976
Miri and a newborn London move into the maternity home’s transitional shelter, where for the next two years, the two are allowed to stay while Miri completes her GED, finds work as an administrative assistant, and saves money toward an apartment of their own.
February 1, 1978
Miri and two year old London leave the shelter and move into a small but comfortable apartment. Miri works as an admin assistant and a waitress at a local diner by night while London spends most of her time in daycare. Social worker Elizabeth Ridley continues to periodically check- in out of concern for London.
1980 – 1983
The financial strain and stress of single parenthood begin to take its toll on Miri, and it isn’t long before she resumes her old bad habits. London is removed 3 times over the next 3 years due to parental neglect.
In an unusual turn of events, Miri is convicted of murdering a john and sentenced to life in prison. Miri implores her former social worker and her husband, the benevolent judge, to adopt 8 year old London and raise her as their own. The formerly childless couple can’t deny their feelings for London, and agree. London visits her mother for the first time with glass between them in the visitor’s area. She is outwardly shy but inwardly seething over her mother’s abandonment.
Now officially London Kyler Ridley, the family of three moves to Coldwater Junction, Montana to give their daughter a fresh start.
1984 – 1991
London attends elementary and middle school. She is a top student with lots of friends, but counselors express concern that she isn’t entirely bonding with her new family and seems to carry a great deal of anger over her biological mother’s absence. London expresses fierce affection and gratitude toward her adoptive parents but acknowledges feelings of confusion and anger. Miri continues to reach out to London by mail, but most letters go unanswered.
September 1991 – May 1993
London completes her first two years of high school and quickly distinguishes herself at the top of her class. She isn’t in the most popular crowd, but she develops a close circle of friends and is active in the academic honor society, debate club and student service organizations. A class project on her family tree re-ignites her interest in her biological mother.
May 1994 – August 1994
The summer of her junior year in high school London asks to return to Ohio to visit her mother whenever she can over the break. She expresses a desire to hear her mother’s side of the story of London’s life, and the Ridleys agree, relieved London may finally let go of her underlying anger and depression. The visits are tense at first, but as Miri starts to recount the circumstances that led to her choices and imprisonment, London begins to feel more empathetic toward her mother and to become more aware of how easily vulnerable and traumatized people can fall through the cracks of the system. Her mother does not make excuses for her crimes and the two begin to bond again as mother and daughter.
London graduates high school in the top ten percent of her class. She is shocked to learn she has been accepted to her “pie in the sky” college, Harvard University, which she attributes to her excellent grades and raw essay about her life as the child of an addict. She calls her biological mother to tell her the good news and to plan their summer visit and is devastated to learn her mother died. The official word from the prison is she overdosed, but London isn’t convinced, having heard from her mother all about the abusive and corrupt practices by staff on inmates. Still, she has no evidence either way and is left dazed and in shock.
September 1995 – June 1999
Following her mother’s death, London is eager for a fresh start and throws herself into her studies in Boston. As a biology major and a pre-medicine student, she finds herself in the toughest academic program she has ever encountered and she has virtually no social life. For four years, she suppresses her grief, only talking to her parents on any sort of regular basis.
London learns she has been accepted to Harvard Medical School. A trusted professor reaches out to express concern for London’s welfare as by now she has dropped 30 lbs. and is looking frail. London agrees to enter grief counseling and ultimately comes to respect and admire the therapist who helps her process her trauma. This experience shapes the course of her future career.
September 1999 – June 2003
London completes medical school and graduates in the top twenty percent of her class.
June 2003 – June 2007
She is selected to complete her psychiatric residency with Massachusetts General Hospital. During this time, she gains exposure to a broad range of psychiatric specialties, including neurology, adult inpatient psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry (inpatient and outpatient), emergency psychiatry, psychiatric consultation, addiction, psychiatry in correctional settings and community psychiatry.
June 2007 – June 2009
London is selected for dual Trauma and Forensic Psychiatry Fellowships. During this period, she continues to assess and treat inmates in the local area jails but also gains experience assessing and treating juvenile offenders, completing threat assessments and providing expertise in other civil and criminal court matters. Her favorite rotation, working with the Boston Police Department, teaches her how to compile psychological profiles and how to assist traumatized victims, witnesses, and officers alike.
June 2009 – 2013
Upon completion of her fellowship, London accepts a position as a forensic psychiatrist and victim advocate with the Massachusetts State Police. She enjoys the opportunity to continue the work begun during her fellowship on a much larger scale, and she also appreciates the variety of her work, but the experience also helps her realize her passion for working with a specific group of trauma survivors: domestic and sexual violence survivors.
2013 – 2015
London ultimately leaves the MSP to take a position as the senior clinician with the Boston Area Domestic and Sexual Violence Center. In her position, she provides crisis counseling and safety planning to survivors, individual and group therapy for survivors and their non-offending family members, develops and facilitates support groups, and provides medical and legal accompaniment as needed. It is rewarding but ultimately emotionally taxing work, and after so many years away from her family, London knows it is time to come home to Montana.
2016 - 2017
London has taken a job as a clinical and forensic psychiatric consultant with Storm Shelter, Inc. and provides psychiatric services with Horse N Buggy MedCare. London believes she can be of use to both companies given her combined skills while enjoying a somewhat slower pace and better benefits. The chance to reconnect with her family is also priceless to her.
|*Looks Like||Amy Brennerman|
Notes & References
|Friends & Foes||The MacLeods:|