“Through their seeking and then pushing off, ambivalently attached children are saying, “I need your presence, comfort and reassurance, but I do not trust you. Some of the time you present me with a security-giving response, and some of the time you are too distracted, angry, depressed, or frightened and that makes me insecure, fearful and angry.” These children are intensely desirous of reactivating the good experiences with the responsive mother and any moments of loving exchange with her, but they are also wary of which mother may be present. They can be wooed into a loving exchange, but their wariness and anger add a hate side to their loving. Avoidantly attached children’s potential for loving exchanges is severely compromised by their desperate strategy to protectively not expose their desire for comfort and reassurance, their anger at the actual and anticipated rejection, and often their overt displays of protest as well. This strategy follows the principle that if the child does not actively seek or even know he or she desires a loving response, the child will not be exposed to an indifferent response or be angrily pushed away. The child can then retain the fantasy and unconscious belief that he or she is loved.”
-Joseph D. Lichtenberg!