Things I've never been very good at. I bump into things, physically, emotionally, psychically. I am rarely graceful. I am always bruising my shins, physically, emotionally, psychically.
And yet, if I want to be true to myself, I need to be more aware. I need to see when I stumble and step off the path. I need to catch myself and avoid the pit traps. His word can only hurt me if I take them too personally. I know his intention is not to deliberately cause pain. I know when I squawk, "Hey THAT HURT!" He is just a little surprised and his defensiveness is his reluctance to take responsibility for hurting me because he hates the idea of 'really' hurting me. And I also know that if I can just say calmly, "Hey, that hurt." and then not push it... just let it go and move on... stay on the path of being true to myself I will be happier. He will be happier.
When he deliberately pokes at my vulnerabilities, he is just playing rough. He likes to play rough, he wants me to play with him under his rules. But if we play with his rules, I need to be quicker, nimbler, and balanced. I need to keep the ground under my feet and remember who I am and who he is, accepting both of us for who we are.