I have given those comments some thought and I have come to the realization that although my basic emunah has boruch Hashem remained intact, my religious beliefs have drastically changed.
I once was a woman who felt joy in following a certain standard of religion including Tznius and the keeping of all Halochos. It did not occur to me to NOT follow the letter of the law. The beauty of it was that the mitzvos did not feel in any way oppressive or inconvenient. It was a way of life that I was used to, and I sometimes even felt some pride in being a part of religiosity such as ceremonies. For example weddings, especially Chuppas, or Shabbos Zemiros, and davening in shul. Many times these acts of religion gave me a warm feeling inside, a feeling of belonging to something important, and a sense of inner peace.
Those experiences have been rudely and violently ripped away from me. I am sure there are those of you who will make the point that the reason I was humiliated and degraded in the context of religion was a test to see if I would hold strong and not allow the violence and pain destroy the beauty of my practices.
Maybe you are right, but unfortunately or fortunately for that matter I am unable to see it in that way. Last night I dreamed that my brother in law (not the Rosh Yeshivah but a younger brother who has always treated me with respect) called me to ask me something and then began to berate me for my way of dress. I actually got angry and told him that he has no right to tell me how to dress and I asked him why is he looking at a woman in the first place?"
For all of you Freudian' s out there, the analysis of this dream is quite obvious.
I am finally able to stand up to my oppressors and give them a piece of my mind. It is interesting to note that the brother in law in the dream was the "nicer" of the four brothers. I suppose I am not fully ready to confront the more powerful members of the family.
My question to myself is how can I separate Emunah from religion and if that is even a possibility within the realm of Judasim.