I can absolutely see why you are suspecting your brother may have had a role in what you are dealing with right now. From what you've said, he sounds like a pretty likely suspect, in fact.
I'm in a rather similar boat as you, although I'm not feeling as tormented with things at this stage in my life. I don't remember my childhood before the age of 12. At all. I know what my mother and childhood friend tells me - and I know what I see in pictures. I had a long standing battle with UTIs when I was three to six or seven. I know I was really into "sex play" with my friend and asked my mom very specific sex questions all the time. I know, from looking at old school reports, that in first grade after winter break I came back a completely changed kid and teachers were concerned. I was suddenly very unsure of myself and withdrawn. I know I got my period at age ten, but didn't tell my mom about it for three years. I know I deal with a lot of fear and anxiety issues today, and I sleep with the lights on ALWAYS. I even shower with my glasses on. I'm told this is called "hypervigilance". I don't know if you would call it rape, but I did have oral sex forced on me in college. This spiraled me (at age 19) into an eating disorder that I have struggled with for well over 10 years (and, really, still struggle with today at 33).
Are these reasons to suspect sexual abuse? I honestly don't know sometimes. I feel a hurt that I can't place, and I have these possible "clues" that could mean nothing or could mean something. I don't know how I should feel.
I don't blame you for being skeptical of hypnotists. I am too. I don't have the trust necessary for that type of situation, and it sounds like you might not either. Hypnotists, while most are upstanding, are the ones that get on 20/20 for being arrested for implanting false memories into patients.
That'd be the last thing you'd need to deal with in the midst of this. But there is absolutely no way in hell I'd ever let myself be hypnotised. I'm pretty sure that if you aren't able to trust and let go, like me, hypnosis wouldn't work anyway.
At the age of about 22, I did seek therapy to try to sort out what had happened in my past. I don't know what exactly brought me to that point, because I don't even know if I have valid reasons to suspect. But I was really ill at that point with the eating disorder, and my thoughts weren't always too coherent. (I was barely eating 300 calories a day and typically throwing up what I ate.
) I was a grad student, and all I could afford was an on-campus clinic that utilized grad students (in another department than mine, thank god) as counselors. So I don't think I was getting the best help. The counselor asked me a lot about why I thought I may have been sexually abused. I don't think my answers were satisfying. I remember she kept saying "let's treat this like a mystery and try to piece together the clues"... I was like "OK, nancy drew, this is my LIFE and my f**ked up mind were are talking about... not some Clue in the Clock mystery for you to have fun solving in 300 pages or less." (No, I didn't say that... just felt it.)
In the end, I only went to about four sessions before quitting. She was pressing me with questions that I simply couldn't answer. I think she was getting frustrated with all my "I don't knows". I almost felt like making up some answers just to appease her! How do you answer all these questions when you have ZERO memory of your childhood?? She was also wanting me to talk to my mom and get some answers - which I couldn't bring myself to do or even consider doing. So that scared me away too.
So my experience in going to counseling was a total bust. It left me feeling even more isolated and weird and crazy for feeling this way. It was a really tough time in my life. I felt very alone.
I think, in retrospect, a huge part of the problem was that I had a poor counselor. She was a 25-year-old kid without much experience. I mean, she was a student! Not her fault, of course, but I don't think she was prepared to handle someone in my situation. I think she was probably great at talking to students with mild depression, or homesickness, or test anxiety... but not someone that felt as messed up as I did at the time.
Having said all of that, I do think a counselor would be in order for you. You sound ready. Not a hypnotist, though! I would suggest that you talk to your doctor and get a referral. He or she would know someone that is experienced and reputable. It'd be better than blindly picking from the yellow pages or the Internet. I'd also tell you that you have to prepare yourself for it to be uncomfortable. Perhaps be upfront with your counselor about your fears and make it clear that you want to go slow.
I admire you for searching for answers. I've sort of given up. I'm in a good place in my life right now. I have children and a husband that I adore. Yes, I do still have a monkey on my back (that is fear and suspicion and just the big unknown of my childhood), but I don't feel willing to deal with that monkey. I don't want to. I want to ignore it, and probably will ignore it the rest of my life. Is this a healthy solution? Probably not. But i don't feel I have the strength to do anything but hide.
So, again, I'm so amazed by you and your strength as you look for answers.
I guess one question you may want to ask yourself before going any further... what do you hope will come of this? Honestly. I had to ask myself that too, and I realized that even if the "mystery" of my childhood was solved, it wouldn't necessarily heal my wounds... in fact, it could make things worse. I wasn't strong enough to ride out the part where things got worse before they got better. I decided that things are hidden from me for a reason. I should just trust that and move on. Again, I'm probably making anyone in the psych community reading this cringe, but I don't feel strong enough to stir up a whole mess of trauma and trouble that my mind has been trying so hard to protect me from. So... what do you hope will come of this? Do you want to face your abuser? Do you want legal recourse? Do you want to change family relationships based on this information?
I'm sending you prayers of strength. Thank you for bravely writing this post and for your honestly. This is such a hard thing to talk about - and even harder when you don't have the memories to talk "solidly" about anything. I really pray this is a healing journey for you and that you get an outcome that is satisfying and improves your life. Sending you love!!!