You know, really you're very strong. To look back and think of how weak you thought yourself to be saddens me in my heart. There was so much never done out of fear. You stayed in situations much longer than you knew was healthy and you did so because you thought you couldn't survive. Many times you thought that there would be someone to come rescue you, because surely it was something you couldn't do under your own power.
Child, you will move worlds. Literally. In the back of your mind you suspect there is some truth to be found that can't be seen. You will try many different paths to see it, and each will move you closer to where you want to be. Be kind with yourself, these are all very important parts of the process. Each is a progressive step to where you will eventually find yourself.
Know this. There is an indescribable amount of love in the world. No matter what you see and hear, it is there in all things, all faces, all living creatures. There is so much love that it will find you and pull you out of that "darkness" you think you're harboring and wrap around you until you weep in disbelief, totally overwhelmed by it. Remember, don't judge the process.
Things will happen that you will be ashamed of. You'll survive and prevail. In the end you may know that it was unnecessary to go through them, but you did. It is the past, and it need have absolutely no bearing on the future. You will come to see that each thing in life is only a moment, and that once that moment is over so too will it be. Who you are is whoever you want to be in this moment now. You are reborn every minute of every day.
In all of the faces that you see, remember that each one is you. You have been the inattentive one. You have been the angry, jealous or depressed one. You have been the happy one, the joker and the lover. You have been alone in the midst of a crowd, and around too many people while alone. They are only human the way you are, full of fallibilities and quirks and history that's unknowable to you. All of these individuals are you. Love them.
In the end you were certain that if you weren't killed in some way that perhaps you would end it by your own hand. Life was going to be short and somehow there was comfort in knowing an End Date would crop up and you could stop doing whatever life had you doing at that point. As I stand here the only part left on this roadmap of your life is a giant space wherein it says "Here Be Monsters". There is nothing left to do but go forward. And as a very wise friend has told you, the only monsters there are of your own making. They will behave and let you walk unmarred if you love them and send them away.
It is a very big future ahead of you. Friends will come and go. People will gain and lose your trust. You will be hurt, and you will be ashamed at what you allow to happen to you. These things are not you. You will let them go one day and become something beautiful.
You will also witness, on the eve of your 30th birthday, six ducklings new to the world on your back porch so unsteady they can't look backwards without falling over. You will see Seattle again if you go, and you will be ready to let it go even before you leave it once more. The world will come to be indescribably beautiful.
There is little more I can say to you, except to urge you along that path while being gentle with yourself. So often you will take the harsh road with yourself and your body because you think the way to self-mastery lies there. Not at all child. It's the middle road that gets you where you are now.
I send to you now all of the love I feel and see. I hold you and tell you that all will be well. And I have faith in you that you can keep going. One day you shift the entire world to get where you want to go.
PS - Happy Birthday. You made it.