It’s really complicated. As an adult daughter currently struggling to accept my mother, I’ll tell you my reasons.My mother has gone through a lot in her life and I respect her for just surviving those times, for just making it here as a now wise “old” woman.That being said, she was sometimes just really careless, especially with me because…I’m the eldest? I don’t know, now that I look back, it’s possible that she was just too comfortable with me or she just…didn’t care enough to watch what she said/did and it really hurt. So much so that even to this day, I find it hard to look her in the eye or not cringe when she acts friendly or trust her with anything or sympathise with her at all, even when she’s sick. I know, it’s bad. I should be more caring. I just…have no idea how. No matter how much I try, my brain physically rejects the idea of becoming friends with her. It just really, really hates it.For example, when I had just finished intermediate school (or junior high - I don’t know what you call them in your country) my mother got a job as a restaurant manager in a lower decile region in the west side (we lived in a high decile region on the east side). This was for our residency VISA that we were working so hard for. I was getting separated from all of my friends, into a sea of strangers, and to be really honest I was absolutely terrified. I could see myself as becoming the loner kid that nobody sat with at lunch times, the loner kid with the awkward and silent moments in classes when we were told to discuss with our neighbours, just any typical high school nightmares.But I didn’t let any of this on. I just processed this fear internally and told myself that it was for our family, and that my fears were trivial compared to what we were trying to do. Hold your horses, this is NOT why we’re the way we are now. Like I said, I processed it internally and never held a grudge against her for it. Anyway.Luckily I faked confidence and managed to fit in pretty well.I could tell my mother’s job was stressful. She sometimes asked me to call her at work and pretend that we really needed her, because her boss liked to have drinking sessions after the restaurant closed and my mother hated the politics that continued into those sessions - her boss was the one that was providing and signing the documents required for residency application (as well as other VISA applications), and he liked to practise his power by holding them over his employees’. Like a dog trainer holding a sausage over his dogs.One day, I remembered that it was her birthday. I knew my mum was always stressed about her work and application processes, so I wanted her to have a good time at home. So I worked with my younger brother to bake a cake, clean up the house, blow some balloons and set up a nice table so that she could walk in and…be pleased.I was 16? at the time and baking was not a skill I had mastered. The cake I tried to bake turned out to be a pancake. But no matter, I cut it, decorated it, put it on a nice plate along with other desserts and covered it. Then we waited with the lights off in the dining room so she could be taken off guard completely.We heard the lock being turned that night at around 10pm. We were excited. What would our mother say? We couldn’t wait to see the look on her face.She came in and we both shouted “Happy birthday?” with huge grins on our faces.My mother’s face did not look the way we expected. In fact, the scowl on her face didn’t leave. She didn’t even respond or look at the setup we put effort into.I just thought, “She must be too tired to notice what’s happening” so I lifted up the cover and repeated, “Happy birthday?” At this time I thought she would understand that it was her birthday and we were appreciating her by baking her a cake and making sure that she could relax that day without any worries of chores.She literally brushed past me and began to climb up the stairs to her bedroom. Not a single word or any form of acknowledgement. One of our then flatmates who was in the kitchen found this strange, so she asked, “Aren’t you going to try the cake?”My mother finally turned around and came back to the table, scowl still on her face. She stabbed the cake I made with a fork and shoved a tiny piece into her mouth and made a sound like “Mm” then left.My brother and I were both shocked. This was not the way this was supposed to go. We thought, well, at least I thought I could make her happy for once. As the eldest I hid my huge disappointment and cleaned up the plates. I told my brother that she must be too tired to eat and sent him to bed. But that night, in bed, I wept and wept. Because it hurt. It hurt that she didn’t like the effort and time we spent trying to make her happy. It hurt that we weren’t enough. It hurt that she didn’t even want to acknowledge our effort, let alone thank.The next days it was as if nothing had happened. I continued acting like I wasn’t hurting and my mother soon forgot about it. The event was so insignificant to her, that when I brought it up 5 years later, she couldn’t even remember us doing that. But to us we had put our heart and soul into it. Fine, maybe she was just too distracted. What hurt even more was that after saying she couldn’t remember, she accused me of being lazy while she was working. She believed I was playing games on the computer all day, never studying.As I posted here before, that was not true. I realised the importance of my grades when I was 16 so I began to study without her supervision. I was already in the top class in my high school and the teachers always had nice comments about me. I guess none of that ever mattered.After 3 years, we finally got residency. Finally, it was all over. My mother wanted to move back to the high decile range we used to live in before she got a job. Here another thing I can’t forget is what she said to me. She said that “I could have let you go to that low decile school, but I can’t imagine sending my son to the same school. He deserves better education than that, don’t you think?” I don’t know what message she was implying there, but I just remember that it really hurt.After we moved and my mum was forced to quit her job due to health conditions, she said that she had to compensate for the days she was absent from our lives…by tightening the reins. She thought that was all there was to parenting. No bonding, no spending time together, just…control. When it was not needed. She is also pessimisitc - she likes to have someone to blame for everything that goes wrong, which is more often than not either me or my brother. She criticises and berates but can’t stand disagreement.There were other things that she said and did that hurt me, and little by little it built up inside me I guess. It was worsened by the fact that I didn’t like to vent to my friends about these wounds in fear of embarrassing my family. After all, it was a sin to badmouth your parents.Even now I always feel like I’m never good enough for her. My self-esteem plummeted - I felt like I only caused troubles to those around me (I did not understand that my mother could also contribute to the problem - I just thought that I was always doing something wrong, something that wasn’t enough to fix it all. Now I realise fixing a relationship is a two-way process) and I hated myself until a couple of years ago when I went to this Christian camp. I still can’t have a smartphone or a laptop, and I still need permission to gain access to the computer. The worst thing is, my mother still doesn’t understand why I’m so hurt. Nor did she ever try to address these issues.I tried to somehow fix the broken relationship through letters - like I said before, I could never bring myself to look her in the eye so conversations with her make me uncomfortable. Say one wrong thing or do one wrong thing and it could all blow.Over the years I just thought it was my puberty and hormone-fuelled rage that were ruining it all for me. Well if it was, I shouldn’t feel the way I do as a 20 year old, right? I still struggle to accept my mother, and it’s very difficult. I find it hard to sympathise with her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I still love my mother and would do anything for her, but the hurt has built up so much that I subconsciously reject her.So moral of the story: address any issues that arise in a relationship as soon as possible. If you think you’ve hurt your child, make sure you address that, because emotional hurt lasts a looong time.P.s. dear future readers: though I appreciate the supportive comments, I am not asking for pity. I dont want it, I'm finding my own way of accepting my life. The purpose of this post was to answer the question ‡ if you keep ignoring the hurt, eventually the daughter might find it hard to accept your actions. The hurt building up for a long time is also very hard to heal. For me, it accumulated over 18 years ‡ even now I find it hard to make eye contact with her, I honestly dont know why.