Ms Blackbird wrote:
I don´t have good anwers but wanted to point out one thing: if he changed at 18-20, I am pretty sure that it can be un-changed. When people talk of personality disorders, the root usually goes to the troubled childhood. If your brother had a happy life till 18, then what he has now has to be properly diagnosed otherwise there can be no treatment.
I doubt that in a few hours of Christmas dinner things can go wrong, but one never knows. Is it a big risk to take? Can you deal with the consequences even if things did go wrong?
The roots of his condition were sown in our childhood, for sure. It just didn't "blossom" under later.
OCD type themes run in the family for at least 4 generations. Every one of us has some narcissism/codependence, anxiety & over-thinking issues. But at age 18 he had an extremely traumatic experience that left him filled with FEAR... and the "simmering -> explosive anger" + "black and white thinking" + "perfection-interfering-with-task completion & neatness rituals" + "It's 100% YOUR fault, never mine" orientation came out in a very forward way.
I think I could probably handle a Christmas dinner. I think his company "very occasionally in very small doses" - a group family dinner a few times a year - could be managed, but anything much more asking for trouble. Learning about OCPD opens a door to forgiveness... it's really NOT his fault that he acts this way and can NEVER be accountable for his actions... it's a faulty internal schema that blinds him from seeing his mistakes and learning from him, by assigning the blame wholly on whomever was nearby when his anger erupts.
I feel the need to "educate" my parents about this to at least get them to recognize the warning signs and helps "cool down" potentially explosive situations... rather than unconsciously pouring kerosene on the fire.
But they find learning or talking about OCPD to be stigmatizing and unpleasant. They have already been through hell for 10 years, and now I'm offering a stigmatizing and difficult-to-treat amateur diagnosis?
I realize that I can't "control" my parents and "make" them learn about this issue. As much as they failed to protect me by not understanding what was going on and setting limits with crazy behavior... I can't make them see my perspective: that OCPD is the cause of the majority of our family problems.
I can lead horses to the water but not make them "drink" up new information they don't want to deal with.
But maybe they will be more willing to slowly learn about it over time. And if they never do:
I may be able to summon enough strength... armed with this new knowledge... to avoid his triggers (suggesting he made or will make a mistake, resolving a past conflict, attempting to get closure after an episode, any topic that may trigger his sexual shame, disagreeing with his point of view, not lavishing praise on him sufficiently for a small accomplishment, etc.) and be strong enough to be able to walk out and resist getting "sucked into" any OCPD craziness or group emotional blackmail that occurs in the aftermath.
God, help me.