I certainly sympathise. I struggled mightily before I started to feel comfortable with it. Reading with the TdM by focussing on the images rather than learned meanings requires a lot more concentration than working with the RWS, etc. But now a year or so after making the switch I find the RWS like a charming little toy in comparison. The TdM is a mighty metaphysical machine. There is really no short cut to working with the pips. Going slowly by practising with two card combinations and building up a kind of personal vocabulary for the images seems to be the only way not to be overwhelmed by possibilities. Reading with just the majors or a combination of majors, courts and aces (42 card deck), while practising by yourself with the pips, can smooth the transition. Studying the subtle emotional and symbolic differences between various TdM decks is a lovely bonus, like becoming sensitised to different versions of the same piece of classical music by different musicians. It changes you. Good luck.
"a mighty metaphysical machine". Lovely! I can't wait to "unlock" the deck. Wow, it took you a year to get to that point! Thanks for the two card combination advice, I've been doing groupings of three. Actually your advice is some of the most constructive and helpful I've seen! I've got the Pierre Madenie (happy birthday to me!) as well, I ordered them at the same time so I could study a couple of different decks together. Mostly I've been reaching for the Noblet though, cleaner lines and I think a better size for handling.
It's also interesting to read with a deck that is so explicitly secular, as I've always had a spiritual connection to Tarot.