I have it at last. After what can only be described as an epic journey through the murky, shark-filled ocean that is my psyche, I have finally struck on something that might explain my issues.
I cannot attach my name to something that isn't mine.
I don't quite know where this aversion stems from, but I highly suspect that it arises from my years in academia. It's called plagiarism if you present someone else's work as your own. It doesn't matter if it's just one sentence, you are penalised heavily. 'Find a way to say it in your own words' was drilled into me the moment I stepped onto campus.
Couple that with the value I place on honesty, and I have one huge issue.
I can't handle words in my story that are not mine because, well, they're not mine. It's not as prideful or arrogant as one might first suspect. I feel that credit should go where it is deserved. If I attach my name to something that isn't mine, and reap all sorts of rewards from it, I will be so plagued by guilt as to spiral into a depression that I won't be able to climb out of until I come clean.
I know this because it's happened before.
So, I will continue to defend honesty and hope that everyone will understand.
I have to tell you, since I've made my decision to pull out if a compromise cannot be reached, I feel much better about everything. I know that it's not a reflection of the editors failings (because it really, really isn't - they have a specific style they are trying to achieve), and I can take full responsibility for my actions feeling like it was the right thing to do, rather than stressing and crying about whether I was just being a diva or not.
So, I feel great today. I hope everyone else is too. Have a great weekend, everyone!