I was recently talking about my one family and the feeling I have that I should be able to "fix" things, if I just can figure out how to do it "right". He said that's an understandable feeling/desire and that all the TV shows where some kind of "expert" gathers a family together to "fix" things, and it looks like it works, and in an hour or less, kind of contribute to the belief that it's possible. Sometimes I suppose it actually works. What I quoted from your post though, makes me think that dear old dad is looking for someone else he can collect up to use as a scapegoat when he needs/wants one.Years of him as an adult enabling my father and one day he suddenly is the target and he stops enabling it. Basically cuts my father out of his life. In the middle of it, my father is sort of trying to reconnect with me?
I have to think that kids growing up in that kind of family are going to have very different perceptions of reality, based on the roles they were assigned. It seems like, if you were "the golden child" your first exposure to the family dynamic is going to be the parents' point of view. So "the scapegoat" is going to look like they're doing everything wrong and deserve what ever they get. It WILL look like they're provoking the parent, for example. They might see some glimmers of unfairness, they might totally buy in to what the official family dynamic is. In the case of your brother, it sounds like when dear old dad turned on him he realized that his father was capable of being unfair and mean and that was an eye opener. Now? Do you suppose he might feel guilty over the family dynamic and his part in it? People are going to vary in how guilty they might feel and how they handle it. I wonder if that's part of what you're seeing in his recent behavior? I don't know what you DO about that. Be open to the possibilities maybe? But I wouldn't expect too much. He's grown up learning the value of scapegoats and that's not a role you want to have assigned to you again.