Some people need to be pushed or they won't ever progress.
Sure, there are plenty of instructors out there who will tell you what you want to hear, but are they the ones who can actually turn out competent rider/horse combinations? If someone is still doing walk/trot in an arena after a couple of years of lessons I'd say their instructor is garbage, especially if all they do is blow sunshine up their clients' butts.
You need an instructor who will push you when you need it and back off when you don't, not someone who coddles you and kisses your tuckus because you have a silly idea that the 'customer is always right'.
As far as you feeling proud of yourself for blowing up at her because she blew up at you? That's a poor attitude to have. If you want to be respected you need to show respect as well, not come across as some foul mouthed harridan. Two wrongs don't make a right.
I do hope you've found an instructor who meets your needs and meshes with your personality.
There's a difference between pushing and abusing. Screaming and/or insulting is a lousy means of communicating. If someone comes at me that way, it puts me in a fairly evil frame of mind, myself. But being pushed challenges me to no end.
One junior instructor was going for the insulting route, I don't know why-maybe trying something new and I kept my feelings to myself until one day she just got to me and that button being pushed, I sort of came back at her - not insulting her but raising my voice and reminding her I'm human, I'm trying very hard and I really do not like being yelled at or insulted.
Ah but the senior instructor is so damned good, she's wicked. She knows exactly how to push buttons to get you to challenge yourself without resorting to any kind of screaming or insulting or demeaning. She just lets you know she knows you can do it but she never insists, she just lets you know she knows you can. It's her tone, her relaxed method and her little smile - like she's got my number. However, she'll work with you to figure out why you can't, if you can't consistently. Even getting you off the horse and getting on and figuring if the horse needs to be communicated with differently. She's open, she's not competitive with her students, meaning your achievments and failures are yours to experience without her ego getting in the middle of it.
At one point I **** near killed myself trying to push myself in order to live up to that kind of pressing and mentality and I've had to teach myself how to back off and rest because that is really, about the most effective method of making a student very competitive with themselves.