I don't have any extra help, but you can help us give advice to future beginning linear algebra students, by explaining, if you can, exactly how Strang loses you. Is it the axiomatic approach? If I recall, Strang does linear algebra the "modern" way, and doesn't even mention coordinates or matrices or anything like that, until after he defines things like basis and orthogonality in a purely abstract way. Is it that, that is throwing you?