Home and Away spoilers follow for UK viewers.
Home and Away star Belinda Giblin has spoken to Digital Spy about her character Martha Stewart's ongoing loyalty to son Kieran.
Viewers recently saw Martha and Kieran (Rick Donald) reunited after years of estrangement, but their time together was cut short when Kieran's alcohol issues led to him fleeing Summer Bay.
Kieran has a serious drinking problem and this week's scenes on Channel 5 have seen him turn violent with Martha's husband Alf (Ray Meagher) when confronted over his behaviour.
The troubled character has since left the Bay to escape the heat, but upcoming episodes see Martha refuse to believe he has done anything wrong. Instead, she blames Alf and their daughter Roo (Georgie Parker) for driving Kieran away.
Speaking to Digital Spy about Martha's reasoning, Belinda explained: "It's all to do with guilt. Martha feels incredibly guilty that she wasn't a good mother.
"Martha says to Alf at some point that Kieran 'didn't have a chance'. His father wasn't much use and of course, Martha with her problems couldn't deal with it.
"A lot of Martha's behaviour and defence of Kieran comes out of guilt. She's scared of him but feels immensely guilty. She wishes like mad that she could do something about making it work, but it gets so out of control so quickly.
"It doesn't help with Alf and Roo going at Martha all the time about Kieran and how he's not to be trusted, because they see things that Martha doesn't see."
Now that Kieran has left Summer Bay, the show starts exploring a troubled time for Martha's mental health as she struggles to come to terms with everything. The show has previously established that Martha has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
Belinda said: "That's one of the reasons why the writers have written this story – because they wanted to see more around this disorder. I of course read up and did a lot of research on this disorder – feelings of abandonment are a very strong thing, feelings of not being able to deal with responsibility, not being able to deal with forming a relationship properly.
"What Martha wants more than anything is to be able to do that with her son. She is easily manipulatable for that reason. She wants to believe what he's telling her. Even though the others can see way past it, Martha can't. It's a terrible recipe for disaster.
"When Kieran leaves, Martha blames Alf and Roo for a long time. There's a lot of tears and she's torn. Alf is desperately trying to look after Martha, but she's pushing him away all the time."
Home and Away airs weekdays at 1.15pm and 6pm on Channel 5 (UK) and Mondays to Thursdays at 7pm on Channel 7 (Australia).
We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov.
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