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is it common for bulimia to return after 20 years


Common? Hmm...very possible,

Common? Hmm...very possible, for sure!
Because bulimia or any eating disorder is about emotional regulation, and not being able to cope in more healthy ways, it's certainly possible for someone to return to bingeing/purging as a way to escape or try to cope with intense or emotional situations in their life.
The key to recovery is learning how to separate your emotions from how you deal with food, and to also learn to evaluate yourself based on internal values, not on external characteristics.
Are you asking for yourself? If so, did you get help 20 years ago, of were you just able to contain the symptoms? Either way, if you are now struggling with this again, I encourage you to seek professional help. You don't deserve to have your life destroyed by an eating one does!
Please seek help!