Almost as soon as Elizabeth Smart was reunited with her family after nine months of abuse and captivity, she made the shocking decision to become an advocate for children in her situation, and the even harder decision to share her story with the public. And despite her sweet and poised disposition, adjusting to life after her horrific ordeal has been easy.

Earlier this week, the kidnapping survivor opened up to Access Hollywood about how sometimes even minor things “trigger” her and she’s brought back to the horrific memories of her adolescence. “I have been so blessed. I have been so lucky. I have not struggled with PTSD,” she said. “I mean, there are moments where I’ll see something or maybe I’ll smell something and it’ll take me back.” She continued, “One time I was visiting my grandma and she had a book of Russian art on her table. I was flipping through it looking at it and there’s a picture of Rasputin in there, and I saw a picture of him, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. That looks just like [my abductor] Brian Mitchell.’”

As the mother of two little ones — she shares daughter Chloe, 2, and son James, 8 months, with her husband Matthew Gilmour — she said that one day, when they are old enough to understand, she plans to share her story with her kids. “I’m certainly not going to hide it from them. Already, I struggle with not wanting to be so overprotective, but protect them enough. Finding that balance, that’s hard,” she explained. “I talk to my daughter all the time, and say, ‘Nobody has the right to hurt you, or scare you, or make you feel afraid. And if anyone ever should, you need to tell me.’”