Hot days are common in Arizona and the Luke Air Force air show was no exception in March 2018. I had just started talking to someone new who made me feel pretty good about myself considering it has been a rough couple of years. Jets are something that I have come to love so much while living in Arizona. The Air Show was powerful and while I was a little afraid of running into James I enjoyed that day the most because I was talking to someone great.
March 28th was the day that I finally asked Skyler to hang out. What was the big occasion you wonder? I had to go walmart and really just didn’t want to go alone this night. I was nervous but I didn’t dress up or do my makeup. I wore leggings and a sweatshirt. I thought to myself it is eight at night and I asked this guy to go to walmart what is he really going to expect? By the end of the night I felt intense feelings about him, he made me laugh and was a sarcastic asshole, something I could really get behind. When we got back to his apartment was stood outside my car for while and watched a fire truck wondering what was going on. We ended with a hug and I returned home for the night.
The good started with him when he was the sweetest person in my life that gave me the attention and affection that I had been waiting my whole life for. He would take the time out of his day when I wasn’t feeling well and bring little things to me even after a long day of work. He would always text me back and make sure to ask how my day was going. I had become ill in those first few months together. I was in the ER twice with incredible pains. One of the ER visits he left work just to get called back in when he got there. Little did I know it was because of James that he had to go back in. He was not happy but he returned to the hospital and took my butt home. I was well medicated and told him how hungry I was. Skyler made sure to stop and give me food. That night all on the medication I told him I loved him and while I knew he didn’t feel the same way he told me one day he would. In 8 years I never told another human that I had loved them. I woke up the next day in bed with him wondering if I really let those words come out of my mouth. With confirmation from him I was shocked in myself because one we had not been together that long and two I didn’t think I would ever say those words again. Those first months flew by and while I was only going to stay in Arizona until Jaydee was out of school and then make my move back home, I began to have second thoughts. Did I want to leave someone who could possibly be my happily ever after?
Skyler came to my son’s baseball games and practices whenever he had time off of work. He spent time at the pool with us and played games with us. We went to the zoo and family dinners. He was someone who would lick my face and while it bugged me at first I came to love it because he was so goofy. Twice while going to the bathroom I got fired at with nerf guns and silly string, I had never seen him so happy and laughing. I knew that this was the person I wanted around for a long time. I didn’t know then that there was someone else in this mix that would come to ruin everything I had worked for.
In May I had decided to have surgery on my stomach and take out my gallbladder. Skyler had become distant and sometimes wasn’t the nicest person to me but I thought he just worked really hard and was irritated with little things. He worked long hours and I would take the time out of my day to take his dog out or to go clean his bachelor pad as I called his apartment. I had called Skyler one day and explained what would need to happen if I decided to stay here and by the end of the conversation we agreed to move in together. It is always amazing to me how a few minute conversation can change your whole life.
June was fast approaching and while I was packing up everything only to move a couple houses away I was so excited. I was completely in love with this human and I was finally going to have a home with a family of my own. I had decided to take the summer off of work and put a home together all while being able to have Jaydee with me when school was out. Slowly our new house started to become a home. All the rooms were decorated, the dog and cat became comfortable in their new habitats. We didn’t have much time to settle in because Skyler had to go off to New Mexico for work and I was headed for Wisconsin for some family and friend time. I believe this was one of our biggest fights is when he was in New Mexico and I can’t even remember what is was about but I can tell you I came home to beautiful flowers and a man that told me he loved me. When the words left his mouth my heart stopped. I couldn’t breath because I wasn’t used to hearing those words from someone and actually believing them. From then on hearing him say I love you at the end of a phone conversation or in a text or when he left for work after kissing me or when he got home in the early hours from work was my favorite part of my life.
There was many times I should have just walked away from it all and saved myself from what I knew was coming. July had another big fight but we managed to make it past and continue on. I wanted a life with him and maybe that is why I have overlooked everything. Jaydee had returned to school and we had added another member to our family. A husky that we agreed to name him Ares. He was little and stole my heart from day one. I had returned to work and was exhausted. Working, being a mom, taking care of a puppy, cleaning a house, making food, and making sure everyone was doing good really started to take a toll on me and I felt as if I didn’t have someone supporting me. The good days started to come in smaller amounts and it caused me to get mad and start fights.
September came around and I was all excited because well it was my birthday month and I thought yay we get to celebrate me and everything I have been doing. My dad had gotten me tickets to the Chicago Bears game and I was more than excited to go. I was going to see my favorite team play with two of the best humans in my life. My boyfriend and our roommate Dan who also loves the Bears and WAY more then me. When the day of my actual birthday came I had high hopes that Skyler thought to get me something meaningful and I was so excited for him to get home from work that night. While I waited up dressed all sexy and ready for him to get home I realized that he was a little late. Messaging him I came to find out he went out to eat with some buddies after work. I was heartbroken and with tears in my eyes I changed my clothes and got back into our bed. He came home and didn’t understand why I was so hurt. He said his gift was watching Jaydee while I went out with the girls the weekend before. My heart sank thinking he did do that nice thing but on my actual birthday it wasn’t about me at all. We never went to dinner like he said he would take me it just turned into another passing day of my life.
Come October his mom and brother were setting out to visit. We had been working through everything or well I at least was. His mom was amazing and the sweetest to me. Skyler was so amazing in the week that she was here. He was loving and gave me attention and affection that I had been craving from him. We went to the base and saw his jets and went to the zoo as one big happy family. I didn’t know at the time that I was losing him even more. As the week ended and his family returned home Skyler made it seem like we were ok. We took a day together and went to look at new trucks. After signing endless paperwork we were the new owners of a Dodge Ram TOGETHER. I thought it was great that we were getting something together, it gave me the hope I needed that we were going to be together for a long time. Then it was time for my dad to come and meet him. My dad landed safely from Wisconsin and spent a week with us. In that week I found some messages on Skyler’s Ipad talking complete crap about me to different girls. This wasn’t the first time other girls have been in the picture. I was torn and really didn’t want to fight. The weekend my dad was about to head home Skyler decided to take a trip to Nevada (so he says). I was mad that my family was here and he decided to leave. He came back hopeful and loving. Told me how excited he was to spend Christmas as a family and he was sorry about the way he handled things in talking with the other girls. I was so happy that I thought this is it all the fighting all the arguments was done and we were finally going to be the best happy family.
The next day is when all the pain and hurt began. Skyler said he was done. I didn’t even have time to think and he decided that he was going to go “camping” with some friends. The uneasy feeling in my body knew it was a lie. For days he continued to lie about it. He came home we were still sleeping in the same bed. He ended up telling me he went to a hotel so I wouldn’t see him break down because he was forcing himself to get over me because he just doesn’t think we are good together. One of many excuses that came out of his mouth along with lies for the next couple of months. When he got back we had amazing sex twice and I thought we can work through this, it is going to be ok. Little did I know that this was night that I was going to start growing two humans inside of me. After the sex Skyler got in the shower and his phone started to ring. I told him it was ringing and it turned out to be work, he told me to answer but I had missed the call. With his watch next to me I turn it and there came a message from Nicole calling him babe. I was furious knowing that she was his ex-girlfriend. He came out of the shower and with my pissed off face he knew something was wrong. I told him what I had seen and with his angry self got mad at me for looking at his stuff. Again turning it on me but then said she was just a friend and girls called guys babe all the time. Bullshit I thought in my head and with tears in my eyes I fell asleep. It later came out that he was in fact not camping nor was at a hotel alone he had spent the weekend with her. My heart was shattered and I became broken.
One day I decided it was time to separate rooms. I moved my stuff into Jaydee’s room and started to become really depressed. Skyler told me I didn’t need to move rooms but how could we continue to sleep in the same bed knowing he was with someone else? The fighting started and he continued to tell me there wasn’t going to be anyone else for a long time another lie because it wasn’t long before he told me he was talking to Nicole again and wanted to move on. I couldn’t begin to understand how another female could do this to someone and with a child involved. While all this was happening it didn’t cross my mind that I was pregnant. I thought my period had been missed due to all the stress and new medication I was being put on. I cried for months and even as I write this all tears still come to my eyes.
Christmas Eve 2018 is a day in which I will always remember. It started off as an ok morning and with my daily routine in full swing I sat down on the couch to watch a movie in my quiet house. As I’m watching fast and furious something in my body goes wrong. I can’t breath and I can’t speak. Crawling to Skyler I finally get the words out to call 911. Skyler jumps up and calls them to tell them I can’t breath. By time the paramedics and fire truck get to me my heart rate is 197 and climbing. While holding my hand and inserting an IV I am told that I am about to pass out. With CO2 levels high and blood pressure low I was convinced I was having a heart attack. After coming to the paramedic told me I was bleeding around my leg. My body was numb, cold and I couldn’t get my hands to uncramp. Being put on a stretcher and into a ambulance was not how I planned my holidays to go. In the ambulance the paramedic told me he believed I was having a miscarriage along with a panic attack. I was still convinced I was having a heart attack in the middle of him telling me it was very unlikely being a heart attack he told I was once again going to pass out. With my bottom eyelids twitching and becoming cold again I passed out to wake up in a hospital. Not long after getting there I heard a voice say my name and I knew comfort was here. In walked Skyler and Dan to see me looking like death in a bed. Not wanting Skyler to know about a baby I kept quiet, unfortunately he found a piece of paper from the ambulance that stated possible miscarriage and I could no longer hide it. After multiple tests it came back that I was in fact not having a heart attack but I was clotting. Blood work and ultrasound confirmed I was indeed having a miscarriage at roughly 5 weeks along. I was sent home to naturally miscarry and to take it easy. When we got home I removed the IV from my arm because the hospital had left it in and I cried for hours. I became in pain that was so great I felt I was in labor. As for Skyler he went to his room and left me alone. I did it all alone and I couldn’t believe that the man I loved was dating someone else while I lost our child in our house. I bled for weeks and with my hormones freaking I didn’t have time to process anything. I became mean and angry with him.
Come January things had gotten even more out of hand. I went back and forth about wanting him and hating him. He would return home and say things that made me believe that things could be put back together only to rip them away shortly after. Twin B was growing and healthy. Skyler had a way with me that I had never felt before, I was angry and upset that I let this person into my life and opened up so much to him only for it to be held against me later on. He decided to take a trip alone to Flagstaff and to turn his phone off for the whole weekend. He claims that he was alone even to this day but I don’t believe him at this point sadly. It came to a point where I couldn’t trust anything that came out of his mouth. Was he just saying these things to make me feel better so that I wouldn’t do anything mean? Was he playing a game that made me want to stick around a little longer just so he could get off on it or did he really mean the things he would say? I will never know the truth and I think that is what bothers me the most. He came home from Flagstaff to tell me that his love for Nicole just wasn’t the same. He found himself thinking about what we had. Any person who was still in love with someone would take that as hope, that things weren’t greener on the other side. That night we had sex and for that amount of time I wasn’t mad or sad. I didn’t feel anything but the man that I loved was once again giving me the attention that I had been craving for the months he had left me. By the end of that week we were back to fighting and couldn’t find a way to get a long. We tried a pro con list of friendship, we spent endless hours talking that weekend while fixing up the house to figure out a way to come to terms with it all. I couldn’t figure out a way to be a friend with someone I loved when he was in a relationship with someone who ruined my family.
All while this had been happening I didn’t see that my child had been failing in school. I didn’t notice that this little human was also being affected by what was happening around him. Endless nights he watched his mother cry at the expense of a man that he loved. One that he called his step-dad, one that the believed would be in his life for a long time because Skyler said one day we would all have the same last name. Jaydee took it hard and really didn’t want to talk to anyone.
January 28th 2018 is where it all ended for us or so I thought. We were no longer going to ever have the chance of being friends. On this day I was served with a protection order that stated I had fifteen minutes to grab what I could for my son and I. I was so hurt because not more then minutes before I was talking with Skyler with tear filled eyes because I couldn’t get him to understand the pain I was feeling. The start of that day I had gone to the courthouse house to get paperwork to file to get my name off the truck or at least have it in my possession for the year he would be overseas. When I had returned to the house he was not happy to learn that I had done that. I didn’t do it out of spite I just knew I could no longer trust him. As angry as he was and me being me I couldn’t let it go. I had messaged him even when he asked me to stop. My friend had messaged his girlfriend to tell her the truth on what was going on and tried to call her several times. He became so mean and told me I was like my mother and psycho. I became even more angry that I called his commander at the base because I didn’t feel someone who protects this country could treat other humans so bad. I knew as soon as all this happened that I would lose him for good. I had done this damage that could never be taken back.
As I say at the neighbors heartbroken that I had once again pushed someone out of my life I called my dad. My dad has been my rock in all this and suggested that he call Skyler and see if something could be worked out and I couldn’t message Skyler due to the order. After what seemed like forever my dad called to tell me Skyler was willing to work out an agreement to live civil in the house for the remainder of the lease. Then my dad said the words I have been ignoring for months you need to let him go. I started to cry knowing it was what needed to be done. He told me that if he cared about me none of this would be happening and I needed to learn that. He stated that we both need to think about Jaydee and be civil for him. I agreed and told my dad I would no longer cause problems. He returned the call to Skyler to let him know I would be ok. Skyler then called my neighbor and told her that we could work something out. I let her know that I wouldn’t return back until a cop notified me in fear I was being set up to get arrested.
I woke up the next day worried about when I would be able to return to my house with the rest of my things and my warm bed. I didn’t get much of any sleep because I was running the events of the day in my head and my dog wouldn’t lay down because he was in a house he didn’t know. Separated from his brother and dad Ares was confused and made it obvious he did not like it. Jaydee stayed up late asking many questions on why we were here and to let me know how mad he was at Skyler. I tried to explain the best way I could that it wasn’t all Skyler that his mom also wasn’t the nicest. He gave me a big hug saying mom maybe you are just upset with the way he is acting. With tears in my eyes I tucked in my little nine year old in and off to dreamland he went.
After days it became clear Skyler was not going to amend the order. It hurt again knowing he lied to not only me this time but my family. I left work when he had told the neighbor he wasn’t going to do it because someone was telling him not to. Without thought of Jaydee he took his word back. I went to the court and filled out paperwork to contest the order. I printed off every text message that proved he lied to get the order and I waited. We got a court date for the upcoming Monday at 9 am. I was worried and had high anxiety thinking that his lies were going to be believed in the courtroom. His mom had blocked me on social media making it clear that she was taking his side and also believed the lies that her son told. I never thought the day would come where I would begin to hate and resent the man I loved so much. I cried thinking how it came down to the point of having to go to court to prove I was a decent human being. As the stress ran through my body I started to find ways to just move each day. I started to take walks at night and remind myself this does not define who I am. In time no matter the lies he tells the truth will come out and others will see it. Skyler had to make me look bad so that his lies would stay hidden.
I entered the court room nervous. I am nervous about everything but that day was going to be judgement day. The judge was going to decide if this protection order was to stay in place or be dismissed. With about 100 pictures printed off of conversations, a letter from another human, and a list of topics I felt ready.
The order was dismissed and the judge had some comments that hit everyone but him.
If you can’t work out one relationship you shouldn’t be getting into another one.
We live in a world where it is ok to jump from relationship to relationship without thinking about the last person.
I returned to the house that had crushed my soul. It was going to be pretty but when I walked in the door it was made clear that he had gotten married that weekend. I was sick to my stomach. We had rules written out that needed to be followed within the house.
We followed them for about two months and then started talking again. In small amounts and soon became what seemed like friends but turns out far from it. In reality looking back he was just once again getting off on my pain. He took the ring off when he wanted and fell back into me or the bed I should say. Multiple times the ring seem to disappear.
The day he left to deploy I hugged him as he walked out the door. I gave him a letter and told him when he was in the air to read it. I received a email weeks after.
I know everything that happened and everything I did was terrible. This email isnt to justify my actions or to try and win you back. This is an open letter admitting my mistakes. This is to own up to all I did wrong to you. I still cant give you the answers as to why I did what I did. But I want to let you know that you’re wrong about so much. I truly do care about you. I have cared about you since day one. And I can tell you that I did love you. Still do. And probably always will. Idk if I made the wrong decision but everything that has happened since has led me to believe I have. You and jaydee brought so much joy into my life. And I was dumb enough to just throw it away. I’m sorry I didnt put more effort into you. I’m sorry I couldnt see how much effort you put into me. You did so much for me and I took that for granted. Words will never be able to explain how sorry I am. I never wanted to destroy you. I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to cause problems. You were always too good for me. And I think deep down I knew that. Deep down I knew you deserved better than what i was ever gonna be able to give you. You didnt deserve anything I did to you. And I didn’t deserve to have you at all. I’m so sorry for everything. But one thing I will not do is stop caring about you and stop loving you. I truly do wish you the best in everything. And as much as it hurts me to even think about I hope you do find someone better than me. Someone who makes you happy and is there for you. Someone who chooses you like I should have. Because you deserve that more than anyone I know. I had every intention of remaining friends but recent things have come to light and I realize that that isnt fair to you. As much as I want to have you and jaydee in my life the rest of my life that isn’t fair to either one of you. I know one day you’ll move on. One day you’ll find that person and forget all about me. If you havent already. You have taught me so much about who I am and what kind of man I am. You have shown me the kind of man I could become. I will forever be grateful for that. I have been a terrible person. I will never forget about you and all that you have done for me. And I’ll always lie awake at night knowing another guy has what I could have. This email isnt fair to you and I’m sorry for that. But I hope you do find that person. I hope he gives you everything I didnt. And I hope you dont hate me. I wish you the best in everything Kelsey. I truly do. I know you will accomplish so much and I know good things are coming to you.
We continued to talk all through his deployment. I talked to him when his grandpa passed away. I signed off on the truck which I have come to regret.
March 30th 2020 is the last message I have received. It said night. I’m going to assume he returned home. He played me for another year. Someone to talk to. Someone to always be there for him. Someone to fall back on when life got hard.
He is currently at his new base, with his wife and recently known to me he is having another baby. I say another because I had baby B. Sawyer James Costell. He came into the world with a strong heartbeat. All ten fingers and ten toes and the cutest button nose. He doesn’t claim him and that’s okay because I am a strong person. A strong mom, friend and human.
With all that I have found the courage to move on. I have the most amazing boyfriend. One that is always here for us, always caring and puts us first.
I have bought a house, been promoted, raised children and a massive 100lb dog alone. Now I am able to take a little brake and focus on my family with the help of a man who truly is a man.
I can’t explain how much I have overcome and how strong I truly have become and I will no longer allow the hurt to consume me.
I will leave this with just some tips.
Don’t ever allow someone to take your life from you.
Always have a way out and when you feel something is wrong speak up.
As for you Skyler-
I hope you treat her better now.
I hope your next child never ever goes through what you put mine through.
I hope no one ever meets a man like you, I hope they meet the man you pretended to be.
And most of all I hope you became a better person than you were.
You will always be in the back of my mind of what person you turned out to be. I still hold hope that it will hit you all the shitty things you did and truly apologize one day not only to me but to the boys. I also hope you never ever go through what you put us through because unlike me you won’t be strong enough.
Congratulations on your family.
I hope everyone is happy and healthy like my family is.