Tallulah Willis Talks Openly About Her Father’s Declining Health in New Essay Published by Vogue

Tallulah Willis, the youngest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, is opening up about the many ways her relationship with her father has changed (and the many ways it hasn’t) as his health continues to decline – he was diagnosed with aphasia in 2022 and frontotemporal disorder (FTD) earlier this year. 

In an essay published by Vogue on May 31, Tallulah talked about how she navigated his health struggles while going through health struggles of her own – the 29-year-old was being treated for anorexia at a recovery center in 2022, where she was eventually diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. 

While she admitted her recovery is lifelong, she now has the ‘tools to be present in all facets of my life’ – including her relationship with her father. Tallulah feels she can finally ‘bring him an energy that’s bright and sunny’ and can savor the time she has with her father. She feels like a completely new person. 

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“I’m like an archaeologist, searching for treasure in stuff that I never used to pay much attention to. 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,” Tallulah Willis said of her father’s declining health.

She admitted her father spends most of his time on the first floor of their family home and enjoys hanging out in the kitchen-dining-living room because of its open floor plan. While dementia has certainly impacted him in a variety of ways, she’s happy it hasn’t taken his mobility and she’s glad he still recognizes her. 

“He still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room,” she continued. She went on to explain how she feels she has inherited a lot of his personality and character traits. Tallulah described her father as cool, charming, slick, stylish, sweet, and a little wacky – all things she has learned to embrace about him. 

And while Bruce came from humble beginnings, he enjoyed indulging in some of the greater things in life. For example, he would sometimes go to a restaurant and order one of everything on the menu – just to try it all. “Can you be 10 percent more comfortable? I think he asked himself that every day,” she said. 

Tallulah Willis Describes Feeling Abandoned at First

Before she had a chance to understand what was going on with her father – and before she had an opportunity to cope with her own health struggles – Tallulah Willis felt abandoned by her father, almost as if he had lost interest in her. These feelings sent her down a dark path, both mentally and emotionally. 

“I’ve known that something was wrong for a long time,” she said – citing the vague unresponsiveness he was displaying at the time. “Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally. He had had two babies with my stepmother, Emma Heming Willis, and I thought he’d lost interest in me.”

While she now knows that couldn’t have been further from the truth, her ‘adolescent brain’ didn’t know that at the time. Instead, she tortured herself with negative and false thoughts – for example, she would tell herself that she wasn’t beautiful enough for her mother and not interesting enough for her father. 

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It was the treatment she received at Driftwood Recovery, where she was admitted in June 2022 for anorexia. She’s in a much better place today and is looking forward to spending more time with her father, especially now that she can take the time to enjoy all the precious memories and moments they share.

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