Wow, that sounds so much like what I went through, Clara Bell. I, too, thought maybe I was just pretending, and my GT talked to me a lot about it. Please do be honest with your therapist about how you feel, and they will help you work through it, if they are any good at all.
Your therapist should let you do most of the talking, hon. Be sure they have some experience with trans issues, and have some resources at hand to help you if and when you need them, such as endos and trans-friendly service providers such as electrologist and surgeons.
My therapist offered me a place where i could open up and explain feelings, actions, fears and eventually hopes without being judged. From my experience the doubts you feel are not unusual. I know i had them and despite years of being out as myself i still can get hit by doubts on occasion. It's rare now but perhaps can be felt by many of us. Finding a level of comfort was certainly helped by my therapist but as much as anything that was because i was as honest and open as possible for the first time in my life. It was certainly emotional, filled with elation and sadness.
Make sure you tell your therapist about these doubts and thoughts of being a "pretender". That's exactly what they are there for. To help you understand yourself, and those thoughts. I don't know what I would have done if it wasn't for my therapist.
Extraction of the internal, see what comes out. I do have a sense of "ridiculousness" about seeing a GT, as if this couldn't be my reality, and I am going to laugh or frown at that time I saw a Gender therapist. There is this fear that I am a pretender that is just trying to avoid something, though if that is true and it could be revealed, well then good. What is to remember is that I am doing the best I can at learning, weighing doubts, and accepting myself no matter what lies ahead. I dont have anybody to talk to about this stuff(an old thought, if i talk about it, it becomes real, so i must not talk about it), so it is good this forum exists, and that I have a therapist now(hopefully a competent one). It gets emotional, and i dont understand why, i dont understand the elation, and the sadness.
Does anybody have ways of qualifying a potential Gender Therapist?
So I know for myself separating at 7 1/2 years, that yes some VA centers provide some basic care and treatment. But for those who made the long stretch to 20+ I was under the impression ya'll get Tricare still correct? I'm not sure how the VA's basic services are compared to still remaining on Tricare. As for current service treatment, still Tricare but obviously on post, I've not stopped receiving care up to this point. The army still continues to refine, but March is still slated to be the termination for surgeries covered, but I don't believe that affects HRT or BHH. Assuming Tricare's on post and retirement plans or similar perhaps expect something along those lines? But of course your best bet is to probably start calling and asking about it now.
Erin, welcome and back to your point. The VA will treat you regardless. You can ask for a referral to therapist and even obtain hormones after normal protocols are done, just like in civilian life.
What branch of service?