The ground of realization prepares itself slowly.
You are so close to what you are involved in that you literally cannot see it.
Irony continues so long as you do not see.
Then, when you suddenly do, you see through the whole sequence at once. You realize how the consequences have been building the whole time, unknown to you. Such recognition breaks your blindness; it also shows you clearly your own part in the story and your responsibility for what happened. It reveals that you have been obscurely complicit in your own downfall. Irony is the shy sister of such recognition.