The thing is it had gotten that far because I wasn’t willing to break it. I liked her, the kids liked her, she’d become part of the family. I knew – to be blunt – that something wasn’t right up there. But which of us is totally sane? Okay, so her hangups were particularly extreme and she would go on rants for extended periods about things that made no sense. But it was only sometimes – so I let her rant even when it offended me. And when she made crass political statements I deflected it with a joke but I never told her “that’s asinine” or more often “that’s heinous.”
And so she had every reason to expect she could push it yet again, and she could push it that far. Only she couldn’t.
It is an unfortunate trait of my character to let myself be pushed around, until suddenly my back is against the wall and I can’t be pushed further and then I turn and fight. I’m fairly sure it has been a great shock to people – like my ex-agent – and it’s not quite fair to them, either. I’d change it if I could to give more warning, but see the reason I let myself be pushed around is that it’s less trouble and the white-hot-heat of my attention is on my work and my family, which means I don’t have room for any more trouble. So it needs to rise to the point of impinging on the things I DO care about before I snap.