"How does one keep the self defense instinct from kicking in, especially when the offender cheerfully brings up the offense? Repeatedly. Sometimes I feel as if this person is trying to force a retalliation from me, so that he or she is the victim. "
Has this person asked your forgiveness for the original offense?
If not, it’s possible that he/she is unaware of your pain. In that case, you must gather up your courage and your charity, and tell them.
If they have - if the person knows they have wronged you - you might charitably ask them, “Do you think that going to confession might help you stop bringing this up?”
(I had to work to get that question to be as charitable as it is; I think it still may be lacking.)
Or, perhaps, “You know the saying, ‘Hate the sin, and love the sinner?’ Having you bring this up so often is making it hard for me to separate the two.”
There are times when being charitable doesn’t work. Sometimes one is taken for a sucker; sometimes the person simply can’t hear you. (Like people who honestly can’t take a hint.)
In that case, I think you are allowed to respond to the offensive remark by saying something quite direct, like, “Oh - shut - UP! The subject is CLOSED!”
You could even quote yourself, and say “I know that when I ask for forgiveness of a sin from God, I’m not constantly reminding him how much fun the sin was.”
God bless you!