Problems importing Contacts backup

I wanted to restore my contacts on my Mac from a backup. I deleted all my existing contacts (which sync via icloud). I then deleted the Address Book folder in Application Support. I then tried to import an abbu file but it would come up blank in contacts. I then reverted to several time machine backups of the Address Book folder and the same result - the contacts app appears blank. On a couple of occasions I did get it to show all the contacts but that would last for a few seconds before they disappeared (I assume iCloud syncing was deleting them). I then turned Contacts syncing off and on hoping that would fix it but it didn’t. After that I turned off iCloud syncing altogether and then turned it back on and now I can’t get it to even show any contacts when copying the backed up address book folder or importing the abbu file. I am at a loss at to what to try next. I know that all the data is there and backed up but I can’t get the contacts app to see it. There are several sources in the sources folder. Does anyone know what I can do to fix this?