This thread is giving me much food for thought.
I have a reasonable relationship with my mother, but there is a huge amount of underlying stuff that we have never talked about. And I don't know if we ever will. On the one hand, I don't know that it is worth it, given that it relates to things that happened 30yrs ago (although the impact is ongoing I suppose, as it shaped our relationship so much). And on the other, I do feel that I would regret it if she died and we had never even broached the subject or tried to resolve it. Not had the chance to understand it. Yet I don't want to hurt her. It's certainly complicated.
I think that actually I trained myself at a fairly young age not to expect too much of my mother. She expected a lot from me (although I'm sure that it wasn't a conscious expectation; it's just what happened, and I don't think that she has any idea of what she, unspokenly, also asked of me, in asking for my complicit silence). But I gave it anyway, and it has never been acknowledged, which is very hard.
And so I've emotionally shut myself off from her in some ways - I don't expect her to meet my emotional needs certainly. And feel awkward discussing them with her anyway, as she always goes into counsellor mode rather than mother mode (she used to work for Relate). We have a comfortable relationship in many ways; we enjoy spending time together. But there is this massive elephant in the room, for me at least. And she possibly wonders why I am less close to her than my sisters are.
Unfortunately, this key formative relationship means that I don't really let myself be emotionally close to many people; friends as well as partners. I give, but I don't take, by and large. Which is a bit of a crap imbalance!
One day I'll find the time/money for therapy...