I was raised secular and only got interested in religion in my late teens. Since then I have been investigating, reading, etc. After initial assessment I was left with Abrahamic faiths, quickly dismissed Islam, then studied Judaism and found that Talmudism is not true to the source and that Karaites are in grave error, so I was left with Christianity. So from then on I was investigating the denominations, and quickly came to the conclusion that Protestantism is not valid due to their main position being self refuting - rejecting tradition but embracing one aspect of tradition as self standing (the Biblical Canon). So I was left with Roman Catholicism (at the time I thought Orthodoxy was just Catholicism from Eastern Europe). I started attending mass, questioning priests, etc, but I wasn't feeling any connection (granted, it was Novus Ordu), the mass seemed empty, the people seemed uninterested and it was hard to find the Holy Spirit whenever attending mass or speaking with priests and layman. It was discouraging me from even praying alone at home, and I couldn't convince my girlfriend either. Then I discovered that there was a small Orthodox community and chapel, so I went there and immediately I felt something different. Since then I have been going there and my home praying also improved and got regular. Now the issue here is this: I started talking with my Catholic friends about this, and the truth is they are no longer my friends. They attacked me relentlessly, dismissed my experience and basically said I was weak in my faith (whereas I feel my faith has gotten much stronger since I got involved with the Orthodox Church), the Roman priests didn't seem to care. Even though I still have doubts, as the culture is Roman Catholic and most people I know who are religious are Catholics, the Orthodox priest and laymen don't attack me in this way, they don't dismiss me just for having doubts, and always made me feel welcome. I asked God for guidance, and it seems to be pointing me more and more towards Orthodoxy, not just because of how the mass and the church experience impacts me but also because of the difference in treatment.
Is this normal? Have any of you been dismissed for your doubts? Or did I just have bad luck?