Does the fact that people are being so supportive make her feel worse?
She feels as though she doesn’t deserve sympathy or support. She now sees that she walked into this wedding blindfolded and that she should have known after his affair that he was no good for her. She just wants to strip her life of every reminder of Karl and the life they had, but she finds it hard to do that when the truth is etched on every face she sees in the Street.
Does she maybe wish she’d stayed with Jason?
I don’t think thoughts of Jason even creep into her mind for a second. She’s completely consumed by guilt and regret and the thought of being near another man makes her skin crawl at this point in time. Thoughts of Karl and the damage he’s done perforate her mind and make it impossible for Stella to focus on anything else.
So what’s Stella’s coping mechanism?
Well, she turns to the bottle to help her face people in the pub. Stella figures that it can’t get much worse and that drinking might help her deal with the sympathy and pity on all the faces she sees in the Rovers. It doesn’t help. She ends up turning on her mum and breaking down on Dev, which leaves her feeling mortified when she sobers up.
How is Dev towards Stella now the truth is out?
She knows she should have listened to Dev when he told her not to forgive Karl the first time around. Dev knows that Stella is blaming herself, but he has had much longer to process the truth than she has. The pain on Stella’s face is so visible to him. It’s Dev who forces Stella to listen to him when she’s in a drunken state and insists that she must not blame herself for what’s happened in any way.
Do you think she can make it through this?
At this stage, Stella can’t see a way out. She’s at her lowest ebb really, being eaten away by a whole host of emotions. Karl is in the walls of the Rovers and as long as she’s there she can’t see a way of escaping him. She tells Dev she’d rather curl up in a ball and never wake up, but he tells her she will pull through this. She can’t see the wood for the trees. The thought of trusting someone else ever again seems completely unfathomable to her at this point.
And how is she coping behind the bar?
She isn’t. In the past she’s been able to put on a brave face, especially when it comes to her business, but this time it’s different. That’s why she has to drink to get through it. I think Gloria and Eva are really worried for her when they see she can’t even face working in the pub she’s fought so hard for.