"They're like oil and vinegar." We're all familiar with this expression and it couldn't be more accurate when it comes to the relationship between a stepmother and her teen stepdaughter. The conflict can take a toll, creating tension in father-daughter relationships.The fathers don't make it any easier.
My advice to those kids, and to all kids, is to keep thinking outside the box, think up, and work on, solutions that seem unconventional. Because it is the unconventional people just like them who have moved STEM fields forward, and it will be the unconventional thinkers like them who will continue to do so.
It has taken me this long and a dream Ph.D. separation just to get to a conjecture, but at least reasonable conjectures breed solutions, whatever they turn out to be. I already feel less depressed because I am finally taking action. I can almost hear silence again. The road back is less noisy as a result. This in itself makes all the trying and failing, and trying again worthwhile.