I started to notice a lot of patterns in the apologetics of both sides, just one of many being the character of the apologists on both sides. Now I'm sure this is by no means universally true, but out of the Protestant apologetics sites I explored, only one of them didn't come off as soul-scathingly bitter -- whereas versed Catholics on this forum and Catholic apologists on other sites were very uplifting and almost magnetic in their understanding and kindness. So it's not too surprising that I grew a tentative aversion to Protestant apologetics, especially considering (at best) a little and (at worst) a lot of what they condemned was clearly and plainly just hearsay and nowhere to be found in Catholic resources like the Catechism. And this leads me to an interesting sub-story:
Somewhere in the middle of all this, maybe in December or early January, I remember just sitting back, confused and forlorn for some reason or another, and praying that same thing again. At this point, the best way I could describe how most Protestant apologetics (due to either meanness or fabricated truths) made me feel was how Dignam made Sullivan feel in the end of The Departed. So, quite ironically, and likely not by chance, right after honestly praying for the Truth again, a website link in a search engine caught my eye, and my heart sunk because at that point I felt pretty vulnerable and I swore, from its link, that it was a militant Protestant page. So I hesitated, but I thought about it, remembering that I definitely just asked for the Truth, so I clicked on it, and it ended up being one of the best and unarguably logical Catholic apologetics pages I'd found yet. It's funny how those situations work.
I found even better apologetics later on (I'll try to list some good ones at the end). It became clear that there are a great number of independent routes that demonstrate that the C.C. holds the fullness of truth.
Eventually I dared pray to a Saint, and then Mary, despite all of the threatening things I'd read about it. If the people on one side don't have anything but fluff to back up their threats, and if they can't account for gaps in logic and if they have to, frankly, ignore much of the evidence to prove their points, then be cautious about believing them. I can now pray the rosary in full confidence -- because it turned out to not be the things it's slandered to be, but it is exactly as the Saints say it is: the same experience, the same benefits, the same beauty, the same Jesus-focused meditations and experience with the addition of intercessory requests.
All in all, I found three ways of finding the Truth:
1. Forget your preconceptions because they may be misconceptions, and honestly and deeply (without forgoing the few Christian fundamentals that almost all sects agree upon) pray for the Truth. This is the easiest way, work-wise, although at least one of my friends claims that he did this and still earnestly believes he has the fullness of truth as a non-denominational (I don't understand nor can I account for this).
2. Go the logical route. Spend a considerable amount of time and energy slogging through apologetics until something clicks, and then account for everything that doesn't click. I would imagine this would work well, but it's tiring and sometimes depressing.
3. Believe in love. This is one of the most sincere patterns that I found: that the people who most completely live by the standards of the Catholic Church (the Saints, Blesseds, etc.), who lived in utter happiness and humility despite their (often extreme) sufferings -- and who were the champions of altruism, and who lived closest to the perfection of Jesus himself -- are not a swarm of insane, demon-possessed deceivers but instead will lead you to a supernatural truth. Basically, to believe and have faith in love, I had to leave behind all those bitter conspiracies and mean-spirited baseless dismissals.
Well, I hope you liked my (true) story. It was fun to write. I feel at peace now.
Now for some of the links I promised (the more you read, the more pieces of the puzzle you attain):