There are a number of things I don’t express in the “normal” way.
For example, few people can recognize when I’m anxious unless I’m panicking. Because short of panic, my response to anxiety is to grin and act giddy and also to make a lot of smartass remarks. Which is taken by most as amusement and also being a smartass. It’s also why I used to be a holy terror in class (if your response to anxiety caused by someone yelling at you is to grin and giggle and crack jokes, the person yelling at you will be incensed and they will yell at you more until embarrassment overrides fear and you start crying or until you panic and flight or fight kicks in, I say from experience. A screamed, “is this funny to you?!” is almost as bad to me as a shouted, “look at me when I’m talking to you!”).
Not many can recognize when I’m in severe pain because the drama, for lack of a better word, of my reaction to pain is inversely proportional to the severity of both the pain and its cause. So if I’m whining about how much stubbing my toe hurt, it probably does hurt, but I’m not injured. If, by contrast, I’m curled up on the ground in silence holding my toe, with or without tears running down my face, it’s probably broken. Since most people do the opposite, by and large, my pain is either under- or over-estimated whenever I have to deal with unusual doctors.
And only two people can recognize when I’m having serious breathing issues. Because to outsiders, it just seems like I’m thinking or maybe a bit cold. I get quiet, and I stare off into space. I hunch over a bit. It’s subtle. If it’s bad enough that I’m anxious, I might seem cold but in good humor, as I’ll crack jokes and generally act giddy. This has caused medical people to not treat me for asthma because I’m not acting like most people act when they’re having breathing trouble.
My point is this: If, like me, someone expresses stuff unusually, that can lead to misinterpretation by others. And the misinterpretation can cause serious problems. I’m not yet sure how to fix it, since in my experience even saying explicitly that I react to stuff weirdly doesn’t work.