The following article contains discussion of domestic violence that some readers may find distressing.
EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders has revealed that Lola's long-lost mother Emma was a victim of domestic violence.
Earlier this week, Billy Mitchell finally outed Emma's identity to Lola after she'd been moonlighting in Walford for days as new salon client 'Nicole'.
Tuesday's (February 7) episode focused largely on Lola coming to grips with the shock of finally being reunited with the mother she never really knew.
Lola's first reaction was that Emma must be "proper sick" for spending days misleading her, then going to Lexi's school to threaten a bully.
"I just wanted to be with you," Emma insisted, before a tearful Lola blurted out: "You didn't when I was 3 when you walked out the door!"
When Lola started to feel faint, a furious Jay ordered Emma to go as he bundled his wife inside. A home-health nurse discovered Lola was suffering from anaemia, but she couldn't get any rest after the revelation.
Emma soon turned up at the door of No.18, explaining she "couldn't leave things as they were". Lola relented to inviting her mum in so they could try to talk things through.
Emma revealed that she'd come to Lola and Jay's wedding, but stayed outside because she felt she "didn't deserve to be there".
While Lola was initially furious hearing that Emma had spoken to Lexi before coming into the salon, she recognised some of herself in Emma's explanation that she often kicks off first and thinks later.
Emma stunned Lola by revealing she'd never actually walked out on her as a 3-year-old. She revealed to Lola that she'd been abused by her father and it escalated to the point he threw a boiling kettle over her.
"When I finally came out [of hospital] and came to find you, you were gone," she explained.
While Billy and Jay urged Lola to hear her mum out, Lola accused Emma of making up the abuse to gain her sympathy. Emma finally showed Lola the scars caused by the abuse, leaving her daughter speechless.
Emma recalled desperately searching for Lola even though she was terrified, showing she'd kept a baby picture of her daughter in her purse for decades.
"At least now, you know my side of the story," Emma told Lola.
After Emma had left, Billy admitted the story had made him think back on the way abuse runs in the family line for the Mitchells — he'd even hit nephew Jamie when they lived together.
"It makes me feel sick, thinking back," Billy acknowledged.
He then admitted: "I never knew your dad but he had my blood. He had Mitchell blood in his veins."
It all got to be too much for Lola, as she rushed off in tears. Lola raced through the streets to catch Emma's cab to tell her she no longer blamed her for leaving.
"My whole life I've never had you, never known you. But I want to, I do, so please can we start again and just go slowly please?" Lola begged.
Emma promised Lola that they'd take things as slow as she needed, vowing: "However long you got, I'm going to make it up to you. You and Lexi. I'm here now and I'm not going to let you go."
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, organisations including Refuge (www.refuge.org.uk) and Women's Aid (www.womensaid.org.uk) can provide further support and information. The 24-hour, freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline is 0808 2000 247. The US National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or text LOVEIS to 22522.
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