A late arrival into the world of social media, I nevertheless embraced it as a kind of escape.
I told no one, immersed and isolated in my secret life. In moments of fleeting clarity, I wanted to understand what was happening to me. Was it just my marriage problems, or was there something deeper causing me to behave that way? You become friends with the sexy co-worker and decide to carpool to work together. You're married, or engaged, or you're in a committed relationship. All those tingly feelings and the fantasies that perhaps a "perfect love" can really exist isn't destiny knocking -- they're caused by "love chemicals" in your brain.You become "friends" with an ex on Facebook and reminisce about the past. You spend hours thinking about them and your heart races whenever you see a text from them. You tell yourself it's ok because you're not really cheating, you're just chatting. Biochemical research has shown that the effect of these love chemicals is twofold: they are released in response to your friend, and they bond you to him or her.I met all sorts of people, from all over the world, older and younger, and each seemingly as desperate for a true connection as I. Should I be blaming my mother, or my – mostly absent – father for feeling that something was eternally missing? I was born to a woman that didn't much want children, and who fell foul to postnatal depression a good couple of decades before the term was even coined.And for a while at least, it all felt harmless and innocent, and fun. My father leaving didn't help, and for the first six months of my life I was placed with a notional "auntie", a family friend who became my surrogate mother throughout my childhood.There were redundancy problems at work; my marriage was showing strains; and there was something large and unnameable missing from my life.