> I can feel it up there, it doesn't hurt at all, it's not uncomfortable, but I can feel something's up there especially when I sit down, is this normal or should I not feel a thing?
I have been using tampons for 6 years now and if you put then deep enough you wont feel a thing. The only thing you should feel is the string outside.
> what brand do you find the best? I tend to get a very heavy flow and slight spotting in the middle of my cycle.
I use tampax heavy flow tampons. They are amazing. I have endometriosis so my periods are always heavy.
> applicator or no applicator?
I use the applicator ones they are easy to insert and you will always get it deep enough not to feel them and it saves you from sticking your fingers up there. The applicators have a line on them where you need to get to before you take the applicator off.
> how do you know when you have it "all the way" up there?
Like I said above the applicators are wonderful with getting them in the right place.
> when it's properly in place do you still get leaking? Should I back up with panty liners?
I have had some leakage so I always wear a liner just in case.
> do you change them every 4 hours like the packet states or do you do it more/less often?
Yes I follow it. I am to scared of toxic shock syndrome to not change them often.
> is there a position you find best to put them in?
My position is sitting on a toilet with your hips open. That way you get it in deep enough and it doesnt hurt to put them in.
Hope my answers helped and dont be ashamed. Never to old to learn.