Chlorination in the water and the long wait time probably were factors in poor break on the curd for you.
I have found a lot of inconsistencies in recipes from Ricki Carroll, noticing them the most in her mozzarella recipes. Every time I see her "recipe" it is different. I'm not sure if that is true with her other recipes as well or not.
Healing time refers to a 10 minute or so time between cutting the curd and stirring the curd. That time allows the cut edges of the curd to firm up a bit, which helps them be less fragile and less likely to break apart when they are stirred. Many recipes will tell you to allow the curd to sit for a few minutes after cutting it, but I never heard of "healing time" until I started hanging out here. It really made a lot of sense once I got the gist of it.
Keep on trying, though, and keep on asking questions. There are so many knowledgeable people here who are so willing to help out that it is amazing. I've never seen anyone be harsh with someone who made a "mistake", just gentle advice and encouragement. It is a rare forum with an awesome atmosphere to hang out in.