Tallulah Willis on the early signs of Bruce’s dementia they missed
The 29-year-old spoke with Vogue about how her and her family didn’t make anything of the early signs of Bruce Willis’ dementia.
Tallulah Willis says she and the rest of her family didn’t make anything of what proved to be the early signs of Bruce Willis’ dementia diagnosis.
The 29-year-old wrote an essay for Vogue that was published on Wednesday, writing that she knew there was something wrong for a long time.
“It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss,” she wrote.
She says she and the rest of her family would tell Bruce to speak up because his hearing had been affected due to the ‘Die Hard’ series.
However, as time went on, Bruce’s unresponsiveness began to become a much bigger deal, and Tallulah says she mistakingly “took it personally.”
“He had had two babies with my stepmother, Emma Heming Willis, and I thought he’d lost interest in me,” she wrote.
“Though this couldn’t have been further from the truth, my adolescent brain tortured itself with some faulty math: I’m not beautiful enough for my mother, I’m not interesting enough for my father.”
Along with Tallulah, Bruce shares Rumer, 34, and Scout, 31, with his ex-wife Demi Moore. In 2009, he married Emma Heming and later welcomed two daughters of their own: Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, 9.
Tallulah avoided Bruce’s declining health
Tallulah also wrote that she avoided dealing with Bruce’s declining health and that she was in denial over the matter for quite a long time.
“The truth is that I was too sick myself to handle it,” she stated, revealing that she’s suffered from anorexia nervosa for the last four years.
Tallulah says she avoided talking about her own health problems because restricting food was one of the few things she could hold on to after getting sober at 20.
She also admitted she was treated for depression at a facility at 25, and was later diagnosed with ADHD.
“While I was wrapped up in my body dysmorphia, flaunting it on Instagram, my dad was quietly struggling,” she wrote.
“All kinds of cognitive testing was being conducted, but we didn’t have an acronym yet. I had managed to give my central dad-feeling canal an epidural; the good feelings weren’t really there, the bad feelings weren’t really there.”
Tallulah cherishes her time with Bruce
With Bruce’s frontotemporal dementia diagnosis made public back in February, Tallulah says she is grateful for every moment she gets with him.
“Every time I go to my dad’s house, I take tons of photos—of whatever I see, the state of things. I’m like an archaeologist, searching for treasure in stuff that I never used to pay much attention to,” she wrote.
“I have every voicemail from him saved on a hard drive. I find that I’m trying to document, to build a record for the day when he isn’t there to remind me of him and of us.”
“There’s this little creature changing by the hour,” in reference to sister Rumer Willis’ newborn baby. “And there’s this thing happening with my dad that can shift so quickly and unpredictably.
“It feels like a unique and special time in my family, and I’m just so glad to be here for it.”