something lasting & twist their lives into pretzels trying
Daughters are tormented by memoriesof the "good mother: because once she's no longer a regular presence, it's hard to turn their mother's intermittent affection into something lasting, or recapture the closeness that once flowed so freely between them. But they twist their lives into pretzels trying.
what does "something lasting" mean in this sentence?
And what about "twist their livesinto pretzels trying" ?