Multisite Network is Possessed...

Wondering if anyone has any experience with something like this...

I've been getting spikes in memory usage that are crashing the server. Suspecting that a plugin was causing this I started doing diagnostics. I have way too many plugins activated and started going down the list to deactivate them.

problem: they won't deactivate or stay deactivated...

they keep coming back on...

deleted plugins reappear... (even if deleted via FTP)

both network deactivating and per site

admin dashboard will show plugins needing update, then not...

count of activated keeps changing... clicking on 'active' adds more...

occasionally the white screen of death when attempting deactivation, other times it just reloads installed plugin page

I do use cloudflare, but have it paused with no effect

anyone know a probable cause ?