Here you have to be very careful about imagination and sentimentality. There are so many pious images of men saints who generally tends to look like women, or women saints in unreal physical attitudes. So, everyone thinks bhaktas are these flimsy humans you could knock over with a feather, but real bhakti is actually something very tough: it toughens you. As a bhakti, you cannot pretend, you simply do not have the capacity. So. Do not indulge in weeping fits because you think that's the way to go. Truth and honesty, simplicity and endurance, a lack of showiness, a simplicity, fading quietly in the background. All these are signs of mature bhakti.
You know, I've been punched around by life a lot. Why should I bow to the cause of my pain?
Dont bow at all. If you hate the concept of god, so be it. If you want the truth, try the way of the Jnani and reject every symbol. But don't spend your life in bitterness. Whatever happened to you, drop the baggage if you want to find the truth. Dont worry what happens to the baggage, just let it go.
I would love to know God, but I always seems to get in my own way, really
I certainly can relate to that, being clumsy in all things. Hey, dont be sad. You ever watched a child learning to walk? You are as you are, with weaknesses and strengths. But your beauty will be uncovered bit by bit as you take those steps towards God. It takes time. And patience. And steadiness of effort.
So: if God exists, who created Him?
There is a ground point, a starting point: the unmanifest. This is beyond categories, you cannot name it or taste it or see it in any way and yet you and all of creation swim in it as fishes swim in the sea. Now, to propose a creator of God presupposes an endless chain of creators: if someone created God, who created that someone and so forth. No. God is both without form, the unmanifest, and the first manifestation, Adi Shakti, Ishvara, Parameshvara, whatever you like to call God.
I cannot feel or even believe in God, when so many bad things happen to so many innocent people.
Ah. So, you do believe in something: you believe in the existence of apparently pointless and random malice or evil. This is a conversation you have been having most of your adult life, and its a conversation you will continue to have, a conversation and inquiry into life. Is life always so permanently unfair and stacked against you? Investigate this. Look into what comes regardless to you: your breath; the sunshine; the moon; rain; the earth... at a certain point you will realise that actually you are in a truly fabulous and unique position to grow a bit of wisdom. There are many mysteries we cannot solve in our normal state of consciousness, many deep mysteries about the way creation arises and falls, about how it is played out and through us. Sadhana widens our perception. Bhakti intensifies when we begin to see that this horrid little life of ours is actually bursting with miraculous possibility every immense second of every day. So: quit complaining, lift up your backpack and keep walking...
But if all is one, why bother with worship at all?
In the west we get the impression sometimes that Advaita, vedanta, is the last word in Indian philosophy, while other schools of thought are less well-known, such as "qualified dualism" of the Vaishnava school (long before the Hare Krishnas stomped over everything). Your temperament may well be averse to worship, but what about reverence? There is so much to revere even in this noisy and often horrible world. The danger of the approach of the Jnani is dryness. The heart never develops because everything is always being negated and thrown away. This development of the heart is like the gift of the universe for us mortals. What would you prefer, to mutter "not this, not this" while sneering at everything, or to feel pulsations of divine love emanating through and from your heart? Worship... the whole point is bowing down. Some particular souls, such as the adored and spoilt sons of households, have never learned to bow to anything, and thus their egos can grow pretty big pretty quickly. Bowing down acknowledges that not one part of your life is controlled or owned by you - this is an illusion fostered by the mind.