Then she sort of cut me off and said, "I'm not going to let you make a decision about work right now."
CCB, there is a book called, "When I Say No, I feel Guilty". I read it years ago, and I learnt a lot from it. Recent reviews brand it dated, but it tackles a lot of issues about being a people-pleaser.
It is not your duty to please your boss, particularly if she has granted herself control of your life, and what she permits you to do. That is a person with delusions of grandeur, manipulating you because it suits her to do so, with no concern at all about what is best for you.
If you are so essential to the business, did she offer you a promotion? Did she offer to make you a partner? No. She said you can work at home for a couple of months. Wow. Big whoop. She could not have offered you anything more than that, could she?
And here's a question you might put to her: "Let's say I was hit by a bus and killed. Would you close the firm, because it simply could not continue without me?"
What do you think she would say?
It is nice that she needs you, but that need has to manifest itself in a solid way, like you being made a partner in the firm, for it to mean anything more than it suits her for you to be working your butt off for her.
Do what you need to do for YOU, CCB. That is what your boss is doing, that is what your WW does. You do not owe either of them anything. Your boss employs you, and you fulfilled your obligations by working hard for the money you were paid. Fair exchange is no robbery, as the old saying goes.
If your boss was offered the chance to become a partner in one of the top three legal firms in the country, do you think she would stay where she is? Hell no! Her desk would be cleared in under a minute.
You have not ripped her off; you just need to move on. By attempting to steam-roller over you, she is just playing the game. She is taking a chance, and seeing if it works. It is all just a game.
Try an experiment: leave, relocate, and see if the business is still running a year from now. If it is, it clearly has the capacity to roll with the punches. If it isn't, and your departure causes its closure, why aren't you the CEO?
To repeat, do what you need to do, and the rest of the world will go on regardless. The most important thing is for you to get away from everything that has hurt you over the past year. And to get yourself established in a new job, a new place, and a world of new opportunities. Do not let anyone take that away from you. Nobody has the right to do that.
[This message edited by M1965 at 8:18 PM, July 15th (Thursday)]