[SOLVED- I think]
Immediately after posting this I made myself feel like an absolute fool, because I found the issue. When I clicked over to the 'Deleted' tab in the Creative Cloud Desktop, it was empty as I expected. But then I saw another tiny link in the top corner of my screen that read "To view all deleted items, go to Creative Cloud on the web". The link took me to months worth of photos I had on lightroom. I find it very odd I had to go through so many loop holes to find the root issue, (please note I clicked delete permanently in the Lightroom App) but I'm glad to have FINALLY found something I could do about the issue. Hope someone else finds this helpful!