Why I Legally Changed My First Name from Debra to Kaitlin

Except for my mother, most people, including my father, helped me make the awkward transition from my initial birth name, Debra,  to the name I chose, Kaitlin.

At the time, most people did not ask why out loud, though I have discovered many people held on to the question because they have since asked.

The problem, other than people using their imaginations to speculate why, and not always in a flattering light, is for the longest time I could not even explain all of my reasons. What has finally made me capable of doing so now is because I am writing my story I have titled Carpenter’s Daughter and my name change is part of that story–a part I believe I need to share now.

As with the book I am writing, the name change was about me–not about anyone else. The name change was born out of cathartic process to help me move past the traumatically wounded, chameleon-like person I had become to please people and stay safe. This book is my final cathartic device that needs to be shared to help other people experiencing similar traumas because I finally feel healed and whole.

But, let us get back to the name change reasoning.

As you can read from the Wikipedia post below, there are many variations for the historical name, Deborah, one of which became Debra, the name my parents chose for me. My classrooms were filled with those variations; sometimes there were even six of us in a class. Unbeknownst to my parents, attending Catholic schools from grade one to grade eights, the spelling of my first name was not always received well by teaching nuns since some considered Deborah as the correct spelling as it is in the Bible.

Personally, I did not like the variations people used to call me because it seemed many people wanted to call me what they wanted to call me instead of my actual name Debra by the way it sounds when spelled. Many people could not spell my first name or my last name, Trepanier, right either.

When I married the first time at sixteen, I became Debbie Smith, which was fine, that is, until my husband’s family started calling me Big Debbie, I was five foot nine, almost, and my husband’s younger brother’s wife name was Debbie, not much over five feet too, so they called her Little Debbie so they could distinguish between us when they were talking about us.

Teased, tormented, and disrespected for other reasons you can read about in my upcoming book, at first, I only contemplated what a name change would entail, but by the time I hit my “dark night of the soul” in my late thirties, not making the name change seemed a self-inflicted cruelty I could avert.

Deborah (given name)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The prophetess Deborah as imagined by Gustave Doré.
Gender Female
Word/name Hebrew
Meaning Bee
Other names
Nickname(s) Deb, Debs, Debby,
Related names Deb, Debby, Debbie, Debra, Melissa (Greek), Erlea (Basque)

Deborah (Hebrew: דְבוֹרָה‎) is a feminine given name derived from דבורה D’vorah, a Hebrew word meaning “bee.” Deborah was a heroine and prophetess in the Old Testament Book of Judges. In the United States, the name was most popular from 1950 to 1970, when it was among the 20 most popular names for girls. It was the 25th most common name for women in the United States in the 1990 census. It has since fallen in popularity. It ranked as the 780th most popular name for baby girls born in 2007 in the United States, down from 676th most popular name in 2006.[1]

The name is Déborah in French, Débora in Portuguese and Spanish, Debora in Italian and Czech.


Kate was a young woman I met in my late teens. She was the opposite of the quiet me. Vivacious, bold, and confident her laughter filled the air along with her jests and I wanted to be more like her rather than the increasingly quiet timid soul I had become.

But I did not want to be called Kate because it was too abrupt and harsh like Deb, the name most people called me, even when I said my name was Debbie, which had become the commonest version of Debra.

When I married at twenty one, my last name became Webber and I became Debbie Webber. After I began my healing path venture that was near the end of my second marriage of nineteen years, I stumbled across the realization I really did not like being called Debbie Webber. The name sounded childish to me and I did not want it any more. Neither name reflected how I felt inside.

I had been hoping, even expecting I would marry again and would take his last name, but I did not know when, so to me the thing to do was to finally change my first name.

In researching the name Kate, I discovered its origin, Catherine, a name I had always liked, but it did not speak to me. Kaitlin did though. And when I discovered  the origins of Caitlin, I knew it was the right choice because it would also honour my mother and her Irish heritage in the same way my father’s last name honoured his French heritage.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caitlin (pronounced [ˈkatʲlʲiːnʲ]) is a female given name of Irish origin. It is the Irish version of the Old French name Cateline [katlin], which comes from Catherine, which in turn comes from the Ancient Greek Αἰκατερίνη (Aikaterine). Catherine is attributed to St. Catherine of Alexandria.[1] Along with the many other variants of Catherine, it is generally believed to mean “pure” because of its long association with the Greek adjective καθαρός katharos (pure), though the name did not evolve from this word.[2]

Historically, the name was only anglicized as Cathleen or Kathleen. In the 1970s, however, non-Irish speakers began pronouncing the name as /ˈkeɪtlɪn/ KAYT-lin, which led to many variations in spelling.[3][4][5]

As it turns out, there are also many variations now of Kaitlin, especially since it became a common name in the last several years, so the odds of someone spelling my name right are ironically few and far between. Add the fact I did not remarry as hoped, I also chose to revert to my maiden name Trepanier in 2008, making for more confusion for people, but made sense to me. I could not see keeping the last name any longer of a husband I divorced in 1997.

And that’s that. There is no dark, lurid, or criminal past I am trying to cover. There is no one I am hiding from. The reason for the changes are personal, part of my healing process, and the reclamation of my identity. Will I revert to my original name Debra? I do not know. I have considered it. My mother would love it if I did, but love her as I do, I think I will just send her a copy of this post. But I do not think so, even though I recognize Debra as a beautiful name bore by a Biblical heroine and prophetess that was given to me by my parents because of their love for me. However, I like the name Kaitlin. It is both strong and soft, plus its meaning “pure” reflects the person I became–pure of heart, freed from trauma that imprisoned me for most of my life.


Writer, Founder and President of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

October 16, 2019




An Original Poem About Silence: Shining Drops


Amid the clouds

of silence,

soft whispers


infuse the


with shining


of refreshing


washing away

all the tears

constant noise



Writer, Founder and President of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

September 2, 2019







An Innovative Housing Idea

An innovative idea is only the beginning of any change. What makes innovation successful is the buy-in by those who can contribute to making the change happen, though not just by the money folks, but for all those who can help in their unique way. Some people can write letters to petition businesses and government. Other people can advocate and garner community support. Investment folks can open their hearts and minds as well as their wallets.

In essence, we can work together to address a need affecting many people that in the long run affects us also.

A Canadian province and other countries have discovered that housing the homeless actually costs less than all the care homeless need as a result of being homeless. However, the challenge is not only about housing the homeless, but also about creating safe, healthy living spaces for the people with wages below the poverty level, for those who cannot work because of disabilities, for the aged who are still independent, and even for people whose income is above the poverty level, but are saving to buy homes or who are growing businesses.

We need to build inclusive communities, rather than continue to segregate people by income and other qualifying factors that also lead to a host of other health-related problems, including loneliness and depression as well as safety and security challenges.

Recognizing the significant difference between what the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) defines as Extroverts and Introverts is also key in developing healthy living environments for each group. Extroverts’ brains require fairly constant external stimulation by interacting with others, while Introverts’ brains are constantly engaged internally and as a result, withdraw from the level of interaction Extroverts thrive on in order to rest and not become overstimulated.

But rather than having to build these buildings, across Ontario and in many other places too, these buildings are sitting vacant or almost waiting to be brought back to life. Those buildings are the once-thriving shopping environments we call shopping malls; growing more and more obsolete as big box stores increasingly become the norm.

And here is where you come in. Think of all the malls you have visited or shopped. Think about the small stores spaces anchored by the once-big department stores.

Now, imagine all those small stores transformed into living spaces for Extroverted folks who love to be close to their neighbours and community. Envision the wide hallways as promenades for their congregating and exercising without having to go outside when the weather is not inviting. Imagine an indoor playground to keep children occupied and caregivers comforted with the safety and security of the contained playground. Imagine bustling community rooms where Extroverts could regularly top up their interaction need with other Extroverts.

In contrast, for the Introverts, imagine those big department stores transformed into a number of living spaces surrounded by elements Introverts need to keep their needs balanced also. Elements such as quiet open areas for alone time or conversations for two and noise free nooks in order to read, study, reflect, write, and create. Imagine studios and the like for those driven to create in private.

Now imagine the communities that could be built upon mutual respect by recognizing each other’s differences and needs. Imagine all people coming together in such a community, a community within a community, made stronger by getting their basic needs met; a community fostering the ability for all of its community members to thrive.

Of course, this is just an idea, but an idea I am sharing because of my experience the past twenty years living in a variety of communities and in a variety of living environments, the worst of which has been in many the boarding houses where there has been no locks on doors, no kitchens to prepare healthy foods, and landlords who really do not want to be landlords, but want a way to generate passive income with minimal expense that often results in unsafe and unhealthy environments that people in developed countries should not be living.

Abandoned malls are not the only spaces we can transform to fill the housing shortage needs, but the malls, like some mansions, are just waiting to be re-purposed; to be filled with echoes of voices that once filled their spaces.

My contribution has been observing and experiencing what I have, plus now planting the seed for you to nurture and grow. Now we just need the people who really want to make a difference and will get the ball rolling. Is that you or someone you know? And now this, here is your chance to leave a bigger legacy than what you may have planned. I  am rooting for you!


Writer, Founder and President of Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

August 31, 2019












Improvement Does Not Mean We Are Flawed

Living a full life requires us to continuously step into the unknown.

Change challenges us to grow past our beliefs and the way we interact with the world.

Growth stems from our response to change and if we allow growth to happen, the quality of our lives improve.

And as a  result, we become the best version of ourselves: not because we are flawed, but because we are human.


Writer, Founder and President of

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

August 20, 2019


A Women’s Shelter Resident’s Plea

A Women’s Shelter Resident’s Plea

We are all living together in a women’s shelter because we have been hurt, abused, and violated by other people … even by ourselves.

Please, let us not take out our pain on the other people we live with now who are already over-burdened and also experiencing the consequences of how the pain affects us uniquely.

Rather, let us embody respect for ourselves by demonstrating respect for the space we share with others and for those other wounded souls now in our lives.

We do not have to like each other or approve of each other because we do not have to judge each other: we need only to live and let live, without causing any more harm to ourselves or anyone else because there are better ways to live that also generate better results.

We, for the time being, are the community we have around us, so let us encourage, uplift, and inspire each other to heal by growing past our past and becoming the best version of ourselves we can be … because we are all valuable, all worthy of so much more than we have settled for in our lives.

Kaitlin Ann Trepanier



Advocate Writer Founder President Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

Posted July 24, 2019

Why Self Discovery is the KEY to SUCCESS on All Levels


If I knew the whole of me earlier, plus had the courage and confidence to be me all my life, my life now would look immensely different.

Flashing back in time, the three tribes I would have joined early in life were the nerds, the artists, and the athletes because I love to learn, am highly creative, and inherited a strong drive to be athletic.

If nurtured to discover and embrace my inherent talents at a young age, plus to discover the many different avenues my talents and passions could lead me to, I would likely have acquired three degrees. The first degree would be in English and liberal arts, empowering me to be the writer I did know at a young age I wanted to be, rather than the pressure to bury such a “foolish” venture. Another degree would be in the fields of humanities, social science and psychology. The third would have been a masters in business administration.

A lifetime later, the patchwork of my history reveals that though I did not gain the degrees, I certainly gained diverse knowledge, and yes, even expertise, in these fields of study.

Let me show you by providing a very different style of resume I created, not just for a job I applied for, but for me to put my experiences in perspective and to shed light on my inherent and developed skills.


Early Years

  • “A” student in elementary school, but by junior high school, my unusual personality type resulted in experiencing social challenges at home and in school so I quit at age sixteen to marry. No children though
  • Divorced and remarried. By age 21, promoted to Assistant Manager at People’s department store, plus did payroll, banking, and closed store. Left because of area supervisor’s sexual harassment
  • Hired as part-time cashier at Krupps, promoted within a few months to full time and Head Cashier. Hired, trained, and scheduled fifteen part-time and full time cashiers. Closed and opened safe and store, balanced cash, banking, customer accounts, and accounts payable. Promoted to Executive Assistant. Proposed and wrote policies and procedures training manual. Management Team member that contributed to the business doubling in size and sales over seven years
  • Efficiency and effectiveness abilities empowered me to cut my workweek from five to four days to take on another role as an Aerobics Instructor. Later promoted to Area Supervisor
  • Worked with the owner’s chartered accountant. Acquired GED. Applied and accepted into Westervelt College, London for the Business Administration program

Middle Years

  • Graduated with Honours, awarded “Outstanding Student Cooperation” by faculty, plus received first year exemption from the Certified General Accountant’s program.  Served as Newsletter Editor and Copywriter, plus elected as Student Council Treasurer. Team member for the development of a sales and marketing board game
  • Relocated to Toronto and recruited by Levi Strauss & Co. (Canada) Inc. as the Financial Planning Budget Clerk. Responsible for assisting the team of three planners with the company’s five-year forecast by developing spreadsheets to download database information for ease of reporting. Also monitored and reported on capital expenditures
  • Recruited by Operations department as a Production Planner for the company’s contractors. For five years served as the daily liaison between several contractor production facilities across Canada and between several internal departments. Visited contractor sites in Toronto, Three Rivers in Quebec, and Vancouver to train contractor managers on updating our database with production numbers, plus as raw and finished goods auditors during inventory counts
  • Proposed, developed, co-implemented, and trained nine planners on the automated (spreadsheet) master production schedule we used to download database forecasts to plan production. Process eliminated one week per month from the monthly planning cycle. My efforts were recognized for above-an- beyond-the-call-of-duty performance in the company’s international newsletter
  • Concurrently worked with a psychologist to deal with early traumas. Encouraged to enrol into university. Accepted into York University Bachelor of Science program, psychology major, social sciences minor for part-time studies
  • Recruited as Human Resources Salary and Budget Manager Assistant. Also supported the human resources assistants and the HRIS database, plus processed executive expense reports, managed the employee service awards, and served as secretary to the job evaluation team
  • Proposed a team-building workshop to the director for the head office and production facilities’ human resources managers and their human resources assistants. Worked with consultant on the planning and delivering the two-day program
  • Also concurrently, for six of the seven years with Levi’s, served as volunteer Treasurer and member of the Community Involvement Team
  • Left Levi’s to pursue full-time university studies

Later Years

  • Essay writing and my writing accomplishments rekindled a childhood passion. Published, including professionally by the university, libraries, trade magazines, and anthologies, one of which was dedicated to Lake Huron communities that also included a press event with all the contributing authors and poets
  • Discussion with my humanities professor resulted in my leaving university to re-evaluate what I really wanted to do versus what I could do, plus how I wanted to help people. As a result, worked various low level jobs to take time and explore possibilities
  • Evening and weekend Mackenzie Gallery Storefront Manager for four years. Upsold owner and framer sales by providing customers with diverse and more original, expensive framing options for prints and original artwork. Responsible for customer accounts, banking, hiring, training, and hosting artist signing events, with celebrity wildlife artists such as Robert Bateman
  • Put writing on the back burner and focused on design and communication arts at Durham College. Switched to visual arts at George Brown with relocation to Toronto. Two courses are pending for my diploma. However, even before my art studies, I was awarded an Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Grant for one of my solo exhibitions. Sourced unusual spaces and libraries for solo exhibitions, joined art councils, and participated in juried art exhibitions. Started my own company, Kaitlin Ann Originals that resulted from my year-long participation in a self-employment program
  • Developed public speaking skills through Toastmasters and miscellaneous events
  • Performed in Ontario schools as an eight-foot puppet to a pre-recorded show
  • Worked for a family as a barn worker, groom, and exerciser with their competition heavy horses
  • Resumed writing when inspired to create a play, Charles Choice, for schools to address bullying in schools. The play is now part of my own company’s books and products and will be used as means for a production and video contest
  • Won Honourable Mention, Literature, for a Toronto short story contest
  • Founded two non-profits, Trees in Our Community and It is All About Respect Inc.  Discovered for-profit social business ventures are better means to independently achieve mission and goals. The same thesis for It is All About Respect Inc. now serves as the foundation for Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle
  • Basic French Level I in continuing education studies


Even without conscious intent in some cases, I was inherently drawn to what was in my heart to do with my talents, but without a high enough “Respect Level” to foster the confidence to follow my heart, I have lived a life well below my abilities. Next to helping people, I have placed my most important passion, writing, on the bottom of my to-do list.

Yes, I do write, but I have tried to use my creativity in the wrong way in writing because I did not know better. I mistakenly thought my creative approach to format versus excellent use and knowledge of Standard English would compensate for my lack of confidence and skill development. My natural talent for spelling, always 100% in elementary and middle school, was not enough to compensate for the English Standard foundational knowledge I did not acquire because I did not attend high school. Yes, I acquired my GED, but instead of a high 80’s mark at Westervelt College, I could have achieved a high 90’s mark. With a solid Standard English foundation, I could have achieved more A’s and A+’s at York University for my essays rather than B’s and B+’s. As a professional writer, I would be more successful by now also if I had valued myself and my passions enough to pour my energy and focus on becoming a very good writer, and even a great writer.

Finally placing my passion and talent for writing on the same level as helping others, plus learning how to balance both with healthy boundaries has arrived. Yes, there is work to be done, but as the key creative, artistic director, founder, and president for my social business venture, Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle, and its vast bank of intellectual capital I have and have yet to create means investing in the company’s primary asset, me as the writer and source of all its intellectual capital, is top priority as is writing for anyone with the same passion to help people of all ages.

Having the degrees to validate my knowledge would have opened more doors sooner, but the knowledge, experience, and expertise I have gained, regardless of the manner I have gained them, will open the right doors and the work I set out to do will still be accomplished because that is how I am built.


Advocate Innovator Writer Social Entrepreneur & Founder

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

May 21, 2019

Revised May 23, 2019


























Words of Love for Valentine’s Day

For you or a loved one, loving words released this Valentine’s Day!

More Than Words a little book of inspiration

Ebook Available for the first time @



your other favorite ebook retailer

All rights reserved … Book Cover and Text by Kaitlin Ann Trepanier



Advocate Educator Writer Social Entrepreneur & Founder

Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle

Smashwords interview @  www.smashwords.com

© All Rights Reserved 2014-2019 

February 14, 2019